Michael W. Smith's 22nd album, Wonder, taps into the pain endured by himself and many in the world.
Many of the songs on the new album, which debuted last month at No. 2 on the Christian album charts, were inspired by the recent headlines of bullying in the country, his own troubled adolescence, and memories of a friend who was sexually abused in the church, he told ABC news.
On the single, "Save me from Myself," Smith opens up about having struggled with drug and alcohol abuse.
Winner of three Grammy Awards and more than 40 Dove Awards, Smith has achieved great success in both the Christian and mainstream music world. He has sold more than 13 million albums and recorded 29 No. 1 hit songs, fourteen gold albums, and five platinum albums. He is one of the best-selling and most influential artists in Contemporary Christian music. But all that, he says, doesn't bring him peace.
Smith said in his ABC interview, "Selling millions of records is great, but at the end of the day it really doesn't bring peace," he said. "For me, [God is] really the only one who can fill the gap, fill the holes."
His newest record was released just as the singer/songwriter was closing the 2010 Make A Difference Tour with popular artists TobyMac, Third Day, Jason Gray , and speaker Max Lucado. They made stops in 20 cities during the month of October, encouraging thousands to make a difference for children by helping sponsor 25,000 children through World Vision.
Active in non-profit work, Smith has transferred much of what he's learned through his compassion projects to his latest 12-song project. He conveys a message of love, strength and resolve, and a sense of awe and amazement in the midst of the human condition.
Some of the music on the album was also inspired by his wife, Debbie, whom he credits for much of the success in his career. In the songs, he tells of his love-at-first-sight encounter and reflects his romantic life-pledge.
In the end, he hopes the music will be a source of encouragement.
"Hopefully as I encourage people with this music, it will muster up more faith than they thought they could ever have, and that faith will get them through whatever comes their way, no matter how hard life gets," he told ABC.