A lesson I learned while watching a movie: Praising God “even if we lose”

photo by sleepishly
There’s a movie called “Facing the Giants.” It’s by the same church that put out “Fireproof.” It’s a feel-good football movie with a plot that is pretty familiar so far as movies go: Ragtag team of misfits can’t win a game to save their life. They’re resigned to being losers, until a coach takes heart in them. He helps them overcome the odds and come from behind to win the league—become the champions that few believed in.

(For me, the original of this genre will always be “The Mighty Ducks.”)

Anyway, this is that with a Christian twist. The team becomes good because they begin playing for “a higher cause.” (It’s a small-town Christian school, so they can get away with that.)

Michael thought the movie was really cheesy, which it is—but so are all the other movies in this category. Nonetheless, I truly enjoyed it, cheese and all.

The reason I bring the movie up isn’t to review it but to share a line that was repeated throughout the movie that I fell in love with. As the team prepared for each game of the season, the coach told them, “If we win, we’re going to praise God. And if we lose, we’re going to praise God. No matter what happens tonight on that football field, we’re going to make the choice to praise God for it.”

This simple, made-up movie scene has stuck with me and encourages me in the moments when I’m discouraged or questioning why God isn’t doing something or has let something happen. It stops me in my tracks and reminds me that in spite of what my emotions or circumstances might say about a situation, I need to praise God for it.

As Job says, in the midst of having lost all his livestock, his children and his health, “Should we take only good things from God and not trouble?" (Job 2:10)

It’s not easy to swallow my pride and thank God for the situation that’s inconvenient or frustrating or the exact opposite of what I’ve been praying for. But I grit my teeth and praise him anyway, taking the bad along with the good, and expecting him to fulfill his word and bring redemption, somehow, someway.

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