Movies capture the spirit of hope in strikingly clear fashion. Have you ever had the experience of watching a movie and knowing the outcome will be good, but in the midst of an action scene you wonder how it is possible for the main character to even survive? Yet you remind yourself that you know the ending will be a good one. You are sustained through the challenging scene by the sure hope of a positive outcome without knowing what the positive outcome is or how it will be achieved.
Hope is a Christian virtue that sustains faith and life. The power of hope is often misunderstood and misrepresented in common phrases such as “I hope I win the lottery.” This kind of hope is not Christian hope because it is uncertain. Maybe I’ll win the lottery and maybe I won’t. A more authentic expression of Christian hope is capture in this statement: “I hope that all will be well even though I can’t foresee a positive outcome to this challenging situation.” Hope calls us to believe that no matter how bad things appear, God is building some kind of wonderful outcome in every challenge we face in life. Christian hope is rooted in our sure faith in resurrection over death.
Hope runs short in our culture at times. Teen suicide is a haunting testimony to hopelessness. We need to teach hope relentlessly and movies, which are regularly devoured by teens, can be among the strongest ways to teach the power of hope as a life-sustaining force in the midst of struggle. Consider using these movies, some old and some newer, to teach the power of hope:
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