This song was inspired by the death of a soldier while serving in Afghanistan. He attended the same church as the band's lead singer and songwriter Mark Hall who said: "When things that are constants in our lives are stripped away, that's when we have to know He's always enough."
Hall explained to Billboard magazine that both the deceased soldier‘s son and his wife are also part of his church, in which he is the youth pastor. He added. "We were on the other side of the country and couldn't be there for the funeral. We were on tour and couldn't cancel, so we were stuck. I remember sitting on the bus that night praying with our family and thinking, 'I need to be there for them. Why can't I be there for them?' That's really the message of the song. You can be there for someone, but there comes a point where Jesus just has to be enough."
"It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" was inspired by a dream where Michael Stipe conjured up images of people with the initials L.B.: Lester Bangs, Leonid Breshnev, Lenny Bruce and Leonard Bernstein.