Cooper was inspired to write this song and the rest of the album out of his concern about the erosion of belief in today's young people, as well as their deeply felt desire to belong. "Rise is the story of a typical American teen coming into adulthood and facing the massive world problems," the Skillet frontman explained. "Facing world problems as an adult is different from when you're growing up and under someone else's care. All of a sudden, you realize that the world is a dangerous place. It's dark and scary, there's acts of God happening, there's war, there are all these terrible things, and you thinking, 'How can I have hope in this place?'"
"But at the same time, you also think, 'Even moving all those huge problems aside, I look at my own life and I'm not even comfortable with the things I can change. I'm fighting with my parents, my parents have split up, I'm here in this home getting yelled at all the time that I'm never gonna be good enough, and I'm starting to believe that I'm never gonna be good enough," Copper continued. "I constantly fail myself, and I just want to have a reason to live. I want to matter, and I want to know that my life counts for something.'"
"So the story is basically about rising up out of your downtrodden life, rising up from that place where you feel like a failure, rising up to be comfortable being yourself, to stand up for what you believe in," he added. "It's not about pleasing your friends, it's not about doing what's cool; it's about being who you are and being comfortable with that. And lastly, in the grand scheme of it all is, if I can be somebody I am comfortable being, maybe I can even rise up and help change the world. Can one person make a difference? Can one person actually matter?"