BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#19 - "Faith Don't Fail" by Joy Whitlock
NRT contributor Kevin Davis speaks with Joy Whitlock about her song "Faith Don't Fail" and the life changing events that lead to its writing.
 


"Faith Donít Fail" by Joy Whitlock is my favorite song from her great debut album God And A Girl. Joy is a singer-songwriter in the style of KT Tunstall, Kendall Payne and Jennifer Knapp.

Every prodigal has their own story of redemption. This story just happens to take place in a cold and dark movie theater. With tears streaming down her lightly freckled cheeks, legs and feet curled up to her chest--a safe distance from the stickiness of a dried cola stained floor--in a hideously colored synthetic-cloth covered seat, Joy Whitlockís life changed forever. If every flock needed a black sheep, Joy readily filled that role maybe too eagerly seeking to numb a pain that could only be healed by the One who created her.

"I tried to fill the emptiness I felt with anything that numbed or felt like love--drugs, promiscuity, the usual stuff."

She looks back with regret now at the pain she caused her mother and father as well as the embarrassment she subjected them to with her actions, a theme she touches on in the standout track "Faith Donít Fail."

The scene Joy so vividly recounts is from Mel Gibsonís The Passion of the Christ. The film, most well known for itís controversial filmmaker and boycotts from various groups, was widely championed by evangelicals or "believers," including Joyís own mother. "She drove up to Memphis for a visit and convinced me and my sister and her husband to go see it. I was nervous. Itís not exactly a movie you look forward to seeing. But I went and accepted Jesus that night."

I had the great privilege to talk with Joy about her song and here is what she had to say:

"Faith Donít Fail" was written over the course of 2 days. It was one of those songs that came quite easily. I was mentally battling with some of the sins of my past. I was being tempted to relive those moments, even if only in my mind. My flesh was more than willing to do just that, but my spirit wanted, more than anything, to be satisfied in Jesus alone. Which one would win? I was at the mercy of God. I cried to Him. 'God! Don't let this faith fail me!'"

Let's look at Luke 22:31-32.

Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.

"I can't even begin to tell you what this passage of Scripture has done for me," Joy continues. "It's equally sobering and comforting. Sobering in the sense that Satan's objective is quite clear. He is very adamant in accomplishing his task of utterly ruining you and I. But I am comforted in knowing that even Satan is subject to the Most High God. I am comforted in knowing that God allows trials and even temptations in our lives to refine us. Because let's be honest--when we look deep down inside of ourselves, what kind of people do we find? I find the person that I am ashamed to let anyone else see. I find the person that makes me marvel at the fact that God could love someone like the girl deep inside of me. People, we need refining!"

"I am comforted knowing that Jesus prays for me. Think about that for a minute. Jesus prays for you, by name. I don't believe Jesus prays general prayers like, 'Father, help all of your children. Amen.' No sir. The Bible constantly lets us know that God is intimately aware and involved in His children's lives. I believe Jesus says my name when He prays for me. And that blows my mind. That my name would be upon His lips. I am comforted knowing that my faith will not fail me. I may fail. And I have and will. But my faith will never fail. After all, I do not produce my faith. God does. Paul says that salvation is not by works that any man should boast, but by faith in Jesus Christ, and even that faith is a result of God's love and mercy. Even our faith is a gift from God! We can take credit for nothing."

ďPeter failed, you guys. He was tempted and he failed big time. But Jesus let Peter know in the above passage that his faith would not fail. And that when Peter had repented, "turned again", he would go on to strengthen his brothers. Why would Peter's faith not fail? Because it is God who ultimately gives and sustains our faith. The book of Hebrews says that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. Friends, we will be tempted. We will be put through trials. Sometimes we will win and sometimes we will lose. But our faith will never be overthrown. Our faith will never fail. Why? Because God is faithful.Ē

I can relate to what Joy is saying and I also was not a believer until I was in my 20ís. Sometimes I need reminders that Jesus accepts me no matter the circumstances. I love how Joy points out that Jesus prays for us and knows each of us by name and our faith canít fail because God produces our faith. What a great comfort we have in Christ!

Lyrics to ďFaith Donít FailĒ:

Whyís it gotta be so tough
Iíve yet to learn a thing about love
After all that weíve been through
I still donít know how to love you
Know how to love you.

I just wanna get this out
I wish I didnít know what I know
These memories wonít let me go

Itís what keeps me in
Itís what locks me out
Oh faith donít fail me now

Itís not your fault (itís all my fault)
This wayward heart was bound to get caught
Red-handed and ashamed
I let myself get burned by another flame.

I just wanna get this out
I wish I didnít know what I know
These memories wonít let me go
Itís what keeps me in
Itís what locks me out
Oh faith wonít fail me now

What can I say for this body now
While I waste away?
Let me out
I may fall apart
But even if I do
Youíre faithful arenít You?


What a blessing that Joy can bring us such a personal song of confession and adoration. She knows that we are all sinners and are going to slip up from time to time. If you have one of those days where you are questioning yourself and are afraid you are not being faithful enough, try listening to this great song and know that God is always faithful!

You can listen to the song here.

Kevin Davis is a long time fan of Christian music as well as, movies, TV shows and multiple PodCasts. He currently lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.

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