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Facing the Giants (PG)

post written by Esther Filbrun

Facing the GiantsTitle: Facing the Giants (PG)
Sherwood Baptist Church
Major Themes: Christian Living, Faith, Football
Coach Grant Taylor feels like a failure in life—but what will happen when he surrenders the results to God and determines to praise Him no matter what the outcome?

Years ago while visiting friends, I saw the first part of Facing the Giants playing in their living room. The story intrigued me, but we needed to get on home so I didn’t end up watching it then—it wasn’t until much later that our family actually got it to watch together. Since then, though, we’ve watched the movie countless times and it’s still a family favorite—always encouraging and yet challenging.

High school football coach Grant Taylor is facing another season without any major improvement in his team. If anything, it will be harder this year than it has been in the six previous years, as one of his best players has transferred to another school. Some people are getting upset that he hasn’t been able to bring any major wins to Shiloh Christian Academy, and if he doesn’t win soon it’s likely he’ll lose his job. Meanwhile at home, his wife is struggling. They have been hoping and praying for a child for years, but the heavens seem closed to their petitions. Defeat seems ready to pounce from all directions—can he find hope, despite the odds?

In desperation, Grant turns to the Lord. In a poignant scene with his wife, Brooke, Grant asks, “If the Lord never gives us children, will you still love Him?” Later, he challenges his team with a similar thought—“If we win, we praise Him. If we lose, we praise Him. Either way, we honor Him with our actions and our attitudes.” This is an extremely difficult concept for me to grasp. Can we still praise the Lord, even when He doesn’t seem to be giving us what we want—or think we deserve? Can we, with Paul, learn to be content no matter what comes our way?

Facing the Giants is a great story of faith and perseverance. Although it does tend to come across as promoting the “health and wealth” doctrine to some extent, it is still an encouragement in the fact that God does work in our lives in unseen ways when we surrender to Him. (“Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass.” –Psalm 37:5) In all, I think Facing the Giants is probably my favorite movie so far by the Kendrick brothers, and I’ve seen all five that they’ve put out to date. Some may object to the almost picture-perfect ending, but in this case I enjoyed it. Each to his own, perhaps?

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