Justin Bieber got reflective on Instagram during his trip to Australia to attend the five-day Hillsong Sydney Conference, organized by the Pentecostal Hillsong megachurch.
On Thursday, Bieber shared a post with his now-32 million followers on the photo-sharing site. Moments after posting, the superstar added an explanation in his caption.
He wrote, “There are some things you can only learn in the valley and not on the mountain top,” in a note he attributed to himself.
The Biebs’ caption reads, “Sometimes we feel like why am in this place right now why am I not where I wanna be? There are lessons you can learn on the journey that you can’t get when you are at your destination. THE BEST IS YET TO COME!”
The first message clearly alludes to Bieber’s well-documented troubles during 2013-14.
In his caption, the heartthrob seems to affirm that he could not have learned those lessons any other way than by living them. Bieber’s spiritual observations add to similar messages the singer has shared on his social media accounts this year.
Bieber was photographed boarding a private jet in Sydney on Saturday morning, five days after arriving the same way.
He was invited to the Hillsong Sydney Conference by Pastor Carl Lentz, who co-founded Hillsong NYC church in 2010 with Pastor Joel Houston, who is a musician and the head of Hillsong United, the church’s youth band. Joel’s late grandfather, Frank, and father, Brian, founded the original Hillsong in Australia in 1983.
Bieber has been open about his Christian beliefs since the beginning of his career. He was raised as such by his born-again mother, Pattie Mallette. The singer evidently reconnected with his faith last October, when he sought guidance during his turbulent period by staying at the New Jersey home of Pastor Lentz, his wife Laura and their three children.
The Canadian is also close to Pastor Judah Smith of the Seattle-based The City Church. Both men have known the Biebs since 2008.
Bieber is a regular attendee at Hillsong Church’s Los Angeles and NYC locations. During his five-day Sydney visit, he reportedly went to the twice-daily Hillsong worship services at Sydney’s Allphones Arena, where the conference was held.
In his downtime, the 21-year-old got in some midnight practice at the city’s Monster Skate Park, where he held two impromptu question and answer sessions with Beliebers waiting outside. The singer was also spotted at Bondi’s Icebergs, where he enjoyed morning dips.
Naturally, the Australian press were all over the Hillsong conference with the Biebs’ arrival. The presence of longtime friend, model Hailey Baldwin, adding romance speculation to the mix.
For his part, Bieber praised Carl during an interview Lentz gave to Ten Network Television during the conference. “I’m glad to know him. He’s changed my life,” Ten reported the star spontaneously saying.
Meanwhile, Pastors Lentz and Houston appeared on Channel Seven’s The Morning Show to speak about their role in Justin’s spiritual rejuvenation, although they stressed that the youngster charts his own choices.
“We didn’t change Justin Bieber,” Lentz insisted. “We just gave a hand in being a friend to him. He’s made his own decisions.”
Carl, 36, “We invited him like we invited a lot of people. He said he wanted to come so he kind of cancelled other plans to come do this and I think that’s pretty awesome,” in reply to a question as to how Bieber’s Sydney visit came about.
At one point, Joel said of the singer, “He is actually an amazing guy who I don’t think many people fully understand, because they don’t understand what goes on in his world — or in his life — so it’s been an awesome thing for him to come here.”
Watch the pastors’ interview below.
During the interview, Joel nutshelled what he and Lentz try to bring to Bieber’s life.
“I think we just want to help him live as normal a life as possible given how extreme his circumstances are,” Houston summed.
Lentz explained that Justin’s fame has also been a “challenge” to Hillsong church. “To a large degree, he understands it’s not necessarily a favourable thing because the press about him has been hard.”
“For us it often brings some added challenge,” Carl continued. “We have had to do more managing of what people think it’s about than what it really is.”
In other Bieber news, he was snapped boarding a private jet in Sydney with buddies Joe Termini and Joel on Saturday morning, when the conference ended the day before.
The trio flew to Bora Bora. However, on Sunday, the singer Instagrammed a photo of Joe recovering from a nasty bite from a reef shark.
Termini, a photographer, sustained a nasty looking wound on his chest and rib cage after he was attacked by a reef shark during a swim. Justin Instagrammed a shot of his injured comrade, who is seen lying on a towel on decking.
“Exactly why i hate sharks they told us reef sharks don’t bite @joetermini,” Justin wrote by the pic, which he shared to his over 31 million Instagram followers.
As for Bieber’s resurgent Christian faith, he is to be commended for seeking an effective tool for change that appears to be working, based on his now longest stint of staying out of trouble. Surely the clearest sign of growth?
[Images via INFPhoto / Instagram]