Many years ago, listeners were introduced by Ayiesha Woods as a brand new Gotee Music artist with her album Introducing Ayiesha Woods, which includes her infectious song "Happy." She was nominated for a Grammy and Dove Award. Fans of Jamie Grace, Mandisa and Hollyn will still enjoy her upbeat and hope-filled songs. She has traveled nationally and internationally, sharing her gifts with the world and encouraging people everywhere to gain and maintain a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Currently, Ayiesha serves along with her husband in ministry at their local church in Central Florida. After a long sabbatical, Ayiesha has been inspired to share her voice again with The Runway Project, a collection of upbeat songs full of hope and celebration. I had the opportunity to interview Ayiesha about "Hope Again."
Please tell me the personal story behind writing this song.
This song was inspired by the Scripture in Proverbs 13:12 about how hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when a desire is fulfilled, it is the tree of life. That Scripture just spoke life to me. Along this journey we get to a place in our walk and our faith where we believe in God and hold fast to His promises, but we get weary along the way sometimes. Such is life.
I was in devotions one day and came across that Scripture, and it came alive. It wasn't the first time I read that, but with God's Word, it is like a diamond. There are so many facets to it. Sometimes we'll read the Bible for years and a lightbulb will come on with certain passages, which is what happened for me here.
It came about at a time when certain things I had been hoping and believing in God for I had put on the back burner and thought "maybe this season is up, and maybe it's not a reality or future reality for me anymore." God reminded me that He hasn't forgotten about me, and His plans for me are good. He has an expectant end for me, and it's a reminder that He that started a good work in me is faithful to complete it, until the day of Christ. He has restored my hope. I can believe Him and trust Him for the things that He has promised.
Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?
Proverbs 13:12(NKJV): "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life."
Psalm 63:4(VOICE): "I will bless You with every breath of my life; I will lift up my hands in praise to Your name."
Acts 2:28(VOICE): "Instead You direct me on a path that leads to a beautiful life. As I walk with You, the pleasures are never-ending, and I know true joy and contentment."
Deuteronomy 31:6(NKJV): "Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you."
1 John 4:18-19(NKJV): "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love because He first loved us."
Isaiah 41:10(NKJV): "Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."
What is the takeaway message?
From my circumstances of where I was when I wrote this song, my hope has been restored and revived in my life. I'm a songwriter and a singer, so when I have a lightbulb moment, it results in a song. I'm so grateful to God for restoring my hope, and I believe and hope again, just like the lyrics say in the song. He gives us hope to hope again.
I know that I'll be on my feet again because my faith is rising and hope is alive again. It's been a resurrection of sorts. That's what the song is about. Ultimately, I want to point people to Jesus. He's everything. Every single song is about Him. Making everything count and living with no regret and finding true purpose and meaning in our lives only comes from living a surrendered life to Jesus. Christ gives meaning for our lives.
I'm on a runway, and I'm heading for my destiny, and ultimately our destination is Heaven. There's only one way to get there. If I can make His name great and famous here, then I've done what He's placed me here to do.
Lyrics: Just when
I thought You forgot about me
I was at the end of my rope
And just when
I almost believed
That You didn't love me anymore
I took a look around
It's not so bad after all
'Cause You give me HOPE
In HOPE AGAIN
And You give me LOVE
To LOVE AGAIN
And I know that
I'll be on my feet again
Cause my Faith is rising
And Hope is alive again
I see You were carrying me
I know that was never alone
I know that Your love fills
I don't fear anymore
Cause when I looked around
You we there all along
Now I can feel it rising up in me tonight -- LIFE
Took a moment but now it's coming alive
Having three young daughters, it is always exciting for to me to hear songs about finding identity and hope in Christ from female artists. Ayiesha sings with a passion that is engaging and uplifting, and her lyrics point listeners to Jesus. Ayiesha is a wonderful role model of a woman serving the Lord with her musical gifts.
The prayerful message of hope in this song is my heart's cry for my daughters to adopt as well. I want them to connect with Jesus in the same way this song longs for trust in a personal relationship with our Lord and Savior. When we feel like we are on shaky ground and we are dealing with the uncertainty of our situations, the economy and our world, this song allows us to dwell on the unshakable nature of God. When all else fades away, He will remain. We all need to remember that we're not able to save ourselves. Only Jesus can give us our true identity.
The song includes the prayerful words, "Now that I see You were carrying me, I know that was never alone, I know that Your love fills, I don't fear anymore." A devotional challenge that this song captures is to not fear anymore. This song is about submitting all of your worries, anxieties and stress to God and letting Him be your guide. God wants to walk beside you, and He wants us to be bold and unafraid. The song beautifully captures the emotion of the biblical truth expressed in Proverbs 13:12. That prayerful language instills a reminder in us about not being heartsick from a hope deferred, but to believe in the hope that Jesus offers us as His followers. His plans for us are not to be a heartsick people, but a hope-filled people. I love singing along: "I'll be on my feet again, 'cause my Faith is rising and Hope is alive again." Amen to that!
Watch the lyric video below.
NRT Lead Contributor Kevin Davis is a longtime fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.
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