Justin Bieber’s faith is continuing to help lead the singer to a happier and healthier place.
“Justin is in a better place than he was before, but he’ll be the first person to tell you that he still has a lot of work to do,” a religious source close to Bieber, 25, tells PEOPLE
“He wants to be a healthy, mature man — a husband and, someday, a father,” the source says. “He’s finding his spiritual center, and he’s really making a lot of progress. He’s growing up.”
According to the source, as the singer continues to move forward in his life, “he is constantly praying, reading the Bible, talking to people about his spiritual and emotional well-being.”
“He’s very introspective,” the source says, adding that Bieber “loves church and his church family. He’s got people around him who are encouraging him to really be the right type of man. It’s encouraging.”
Bieber, who has been incredibly candid about his mental health struggles in the past, has credited his faith with “pulling me through a hard season.”
Sharing a clip from an emotional performance the singer gave during a church service in Beverly Hills last month, Bieber wrote that “having trust in Jesus at your worst times is the absolute hardest. But he is faithful to complete what he started.”
“It says in the bible count it ALL JOY when you face trials of various kinds. Sounds insane considering when u face trials u feel terrible. But if we are grateful and worship god for what we do have in that season there is so much power in that… whatever pain you are going through just keep telling yourself THIS WONT LAST! Love you guys we in this together,” he added, while also thanking wife Hailey Baldwin for “being such a huge support in my life.”
Earlier this week, Bieber also shared an emotional open letter, as he reflected on the negative effect finding fame at such a young age had on him.
“My whole world was flipped on its head,” he wrote, sharing that the unmanageable “ups and downs” of being an entertainer caused him to start relying on “heavy drugs” by age 19, adding that he “abused all of my relationships.”
“I became resentful… and angry,” he wrote. “I became distant to everyone who loved me, and I was hiding behind, a shell of a person that I had become. I felt like I could never turn it around.”
Bieber has become increasingly open about his past struggles as a “way to heal,” the religious source tells PEOPLE.
“He is torn up about his past,” the insider says. “He feels a lot of guilt, because he knows he was a young, stupid kid. But what he’s trying to do — what we’re trying to help him do — is to channel that guilt in the right way.”
“He needs to be open and honest about his past, because it’s a way to heal,” the source explains, adding that Bieber also wants to “help other people learn from his mistakes.”