Melissa Joan Hart Opens Up About How GOD’S NOT DEAD 2 Tested Her Faith
By Tess Farrand, Staff Writer
Melissa Joan Hart is a seasoned actress starring in TV programs like the late 1990’s TV series SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH, MELISSA AND JOEY, and the 2016 movie GOD’S NOT DEAD 2. However, many may not know that Hart grew up in a Catholic home as the oldest of eight children and made her faith in Christ her own as she grew as an adult. Earlier this year, Hart sat down with Paula Faris (GOOD MORNING AMERICA WEEKEND) on her podcast “Journeys of Faith” to talk about just this.
“I’ve never had one ‘aha moment’…. It’s just been a growth… through getting to know the scripture better… and my marriage… and joining community bible study,” Hart explained. Through many spiritual peaks and valleys, Hart stated, “I always had faith in Jesus as my Savior, that God was out there looking out for us, [I was] always faithful in prayer… whatever I’m [sort of] thinking about, I’m always thinking about it going to God.”
Hart frequently mentioned in the podcast how her weekly bible study has helped her understand the Lord on a deeper level. “I can memorize lines as a job, but I cannot retain them when it’s like ‘memorize this Bible verse for bible study on Wednesday.’”
Halfway through the episode, Hart recalled that a real test of faith came into her life while working on the faith-based movie GOD’S NOT DEAD 2. “When I got the job for GOD’S NOT DEAD, I felt very tested,” she explained that many people on social media questioned her decision to star in the movie. On set during the courtroom scenes, Hart recalled that many accomplished and respected apologetics professors and authors came to help unpack some big faith questions for the cast. “For hours, I was asking every question I ever had,” said Hart. Faris also gave a nod to faith-based movies stating, “faith films have come a long way.” Hart continued, “right now the Christian based movie are doing so well because the film industry is putting time and money into them now.”
Continuing to speak on the doubts of faith on GOD’S NOT DEAD 2, Hart mentioned, “I felt very moved by it, but then, doubt started to sneak back in… asking all the human questions that I think everyone does but [that’s] hard to admit.” Hart says this of combatting any doubt, “when I have these big questions… I close my eyes and go to my gut feeling and kind of tap into the Holy Spirit really and let Him speak to me.”
Faris asked later, “when was there a moment, maybe one of your lowest moments when you relied on your faith?” Hart reflected on losing her grandmother at age 12 and enduring the passing of a friend who committed suicide. “I feel like every time something bad has happened I’ve come out of it because of my faith. I’ve come out of it because I don’t blame God…. It’s His will be done.”
Currently, Hart is gearing up for a new role on a series called NO GOOD NICK on Netflix, which stars another Christian actor, Sean Astin (THE LORD OF THE RINGS, MOM’S NIGHT OUT). She briefly spoke about what it’s like to be a Christian working with people who aren’t always like-minded. “You can still be a good person, be a good Christian and be aware of what’s going on in the world,” she encouraged. Faris added, “you can’t be a light just in the place that it’s shining.”
In concluding thoughts, Hart beautifully stated, “I might be just as anxiety-ridden over certain things as I was when I was an angsty teenager, but now I have an understanding of, ‘It’s going to be okay’…. I don’t know if that’s aging or if it’s faith, but I certainly feel it’s faith.”
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