#977 - "Alive Again" by Seventh Day Slumber
NRT's Kevin Davis talks with lead singer Joseph Rojas about the band's latest single.

Posted: June 26, 2019 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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Seventh Day Slumber has had an impact on Christian rock for over twenty years. Lead singer Joseph Rojas and his bandmates—brother-in-law Jeremy Holderfield (guitar); son Blaise Rojas (drums); and friend Ken Reed (bass)—are known for a string of signature songs, including "Oceans From The Rain," "Inside Out," "Caroline," "Finally Awake" and "Found."

The band recently released their 12th album Closer to Chaos, which includes ten new songs, including the standout hard rock anthems "Alive Again," "Still Breathing," and "Your Eyes." Closer to Chaos was preceded by the lead single, "Alive Again." The high-octane album opener is a cry for help in the midst of life's stress. I had the chance to speak with Joseph Rojas about "Alive Again."

Please tell me the personal story behind the song.

"Alive Again" really speaks to anxiety and the stress of life. When I was growing up, I struggled with panic disorder and anxiety. I remember having panic attacks when I was twelve years old. It was something huge in my life to overcome. When I got older, I had a drug addiction. This only made my anxiety worse. 

This song deals with something many of us face. You don't need to be a drug addict or an alcoholic to have stress in your life. God set me free from my drug addiction and from my panic attacks. He healed me from that. Sometimes life can hit us hard.
Even after so many years of being in Seventh Day Slumber, I hit a hard time and go through depression. The music industry has changed. Plus, I have a wife and three kids that I need to take care of. Everything hits me at once and I start to feel anxiety again--even after I have been healed and freed from it. 

Every time, I have to lay it all at the foot of the cross, and find out what it really means to be alive again. It's something we say a lot: to lay it at the feet of Jesus. But, how do we really do it? I had to learn how to do it again. If you trust that God is who He says He is, He will do what He says He will do. If I'm doing everything for His glory and in His will, as well as hearing His voice, God will take care of me. In the middle of that, it can be tough and that's what this song is all about.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

Psalm 73:25-26 (NKJV): "Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."

Psalm 40:17 (VOICE): "Meanwhile, I am empty and need so much, but I know the Lord is thinking of me. You are my help; only You can save me, my True God. Please hurry."
Lamentations 3:22-23 (VOICE): "How enduring is God's loyal love; the Eternal has inexhaustible compassion. Here they are, every morning, new! Your faithfulness, God, is as broad as the day."

Luke 15:24 (VOICE): "Because my son was dead and is alive again. He was lost and has been found. So they had this huge party."
Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV): "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Matthew 6:31-34 (VOICE): "So do not consume yourselves with questions: What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear? Outsiders make themselves frantic over such questions; they don't realize that your heavenly Father knows exactly what you need. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and then all these things will be given to you too. So do not worry about tomorrow. Let tomorrow worry about itself. Living faithfully is a large enough task for today."
Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG): "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to Me. Get away with Me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with Me and work with Me--watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

What is the takeaway message?

Having kids, a job, schoolwork, whatever it is, sometimes we just get overwhelmed. But, there are people who still depend on us and need us every day. God is with us no matter what we're dealing with. But we can't run from the pain. We have to go through it to overcome it, and to feel alive again. If your focus is on the will of God, He will be your guide. It's okay to admit you're having a hard time. Seek God first.

This song and this album addresses seasons of suffering in life. We all experience times of deep pain and feeling overwhelmed, and sometimes our faith is truly tested. Through these new songs, we [the band] want listeners to know that suffering is only for a season. Just because you can't see beyond this, doesn't mean God isn't there. He has an amazing plan for you. There is hope. You're not too far gone to be forgiven and you're never out of the reach of God. Hope is waiting. You just have to reach out.
Weighted down a million thoughts and I can't sleep
It's crushing me every moment I'm awake
Can't catch my breath and I can't catch a break
I hide behind an empty smile
But I know I'm not okay
Pushing me closer to the edge
I don't even want to deal with it
But I know Ive got to deal with it
Yeah, I just want to feel alive again
Yeah, I just want to feel alive again
Dreaming of a way to make my great escape
From all the things that led me to this place
I'm stressing out they all depend on me
I don't want to let them down I'm just trying not to sink
Pushing me closer to the edge
I don't even want to deal with it
But I know I got to deal with it
Yeah, I just want to feel alive again
Yeah, I just want to feel alive again
Help me hold on the walls are closing in
God can You help me
No one but You will ever understand
The weight that I'm feeling
I just want to feel alive
I just want to feel alive
Yeah, I just want to feel alive again
Yeah, I just want to feel alive again
Yeah, (I just want to feel alive) I just want to feel alive again
Yeah, (I just want to feel alive) I just want to feel alive again

Closing Thoughts

We should not be ashamed to sing of our dependence on God, or afraid to show Him reverence. What are those things in your life that are beyond you? What can you turn over to God today? Allow Him and His supernatural ability to take you to places that you can't handle on your own. 

Are you spending too much time thinking about your circumstances and what you can do to improve them? Or, are you connecting with God's heart? He says in Matthew 6:34, "Do not worry about tomorrow. Let tomorrow worry about itself. Living faithfully is a large enough task for today."
The enemy uses fear, anxiety and worry to prevent us from sharing our faith, from fixing our eyes on Jesus, and from the greater things that God has in store for us. Daily, we're presented with options of how to use our time, lifestyle choices, and pursuit of riches. We live for today, not knowing what tomorrow has in store for us. And questioning our loneliness and looking for meaning. You can take comfort in knowing that nothing compares to the greatness of knowing Jesus.

We all need to remember that earth isn't our permanent home. Our freedom from the world's restlessness will come when we enter the true rest that can only come from living eternally with Jesus Christ. 

This song truly touches me in many ways. It has become a personal worship anthem for me to sing and remember that "everything under the sun is meaningless."
"If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world," wrote C.S. Lewis in the book Mere Christianity. As Christians, we all need to remember that we are just "pilgrims" passing through. Earth isn't our permanent home. Freedom from the pain of this world will come when we enter the true rest that can only come from living eternally with Jesus Christ. As St. Augustine put it so perfectly, "our hearts are restless until they rest in You." 
We've all been in that place where we feel unworthy of God's love and down in the dirt. God promises us in Matthew 11:29-30 that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. God comes and claims us in our darkest place. When we are in communion with God, it is joyful, not a burden. I sing along with the truth of this song, "God can You help me/No one, but You will ever understand/The weight that I'm feeling/I just want to feel alive." Amen to that.

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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