We Were Soldiers–(Trusting God in Hard Times)
2002, R, Mel Gibson
MAIN POINT: Trusting and worshipping God during difficult times in life.
INTRODUCTION: It’s easy to praise God when everything around is going good and everything is in its place. However, it’s in the times when things are not going good or the way we hoped that our love for God “doesn’t come easy.” It can often be difficult to find the words and/or desire to praise Him or worship Him during tough times.
THE CLIP: This movie clip can only be found on the DVD. So you’ll need to rent or purchase this DVD. It is in the special features section under the deleted scenes heading “The Church.” You can use this clip for a lead-in to a discussion about worshipping God during tough times.
The movie We Were Soldiers follows a group of soldiers who were ambushed by the People’s Army of Vietnam at the very first engagement of the Vietnam War, recording their bravery, fighting and death for many. In the selected deleted scene the soldiers are heading to the battle field (where they will be ambushed), while their wives are back home in America at church on the Army base.
BEGIN: Deleted Scene “The Church”
(Scene opens with soldiers flying in helicopters towards battlefield)
NARRATOR: It was a Sunday…November 14, 1965. There had never been a major engagement between the soldiers of America and those of the People’s Army of Vietnam.
(Scene switches to soldier’s wives back home in America at church on the Army base)
PASTOR: And for our offertory hymn, Catherine Metsker.
CATHERINE: (Voice shaking singing through tears) My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest…
(music stops as she can’t finish).
CATHERINE: I’m sorry.
(Voice still shaking through tears)
CATHERINE: My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteous…
(pause, openly sobbing)
OTHER WIVES: On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand, (congregation joins in) all other ground is sinking sand.
END SCENE: After the next verse is sung scene switches back to soldiers in helicopters and ends.
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- ASK A FEW: There are many people today in our country who are experiencing the same feelings of anxiety and sadness as the soldier’s wives in the scene we just watched. Do you know anyone who is active in the military in a war zone? Who are they, where are they deployed to, and how do you know them?
- ASK A FEW: If it’s a family member, how does that feel to know that your relative is in a dangerous part of the world? If they are only a person you know through another friend or acquaintance, how do you think their family feels about them being in a dangerous war zone?
- ASK A FEW: Have you had a time in your life where things were out of your control and you had no choice but to go through the difficult situation you were in? (Maybe someone died, or your parent’s got divorced, or you had to move to a new place.) What are some words that would express how you felt during that time?
- Paul, an early church leader, found himself in several situations in his life where things were out-of-his-control and he found himself in serious danger. Look at this passage:
- Acts 16:22-25
The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.
WRAP-UP: Every day things happen that we can not control, but we must deal with the results. Friends or family going to war, terrorist attacks, car accidents and many more things can happen before we even know it. It’s our reaction to those difficult times that strengthens not only our relationship with God, but who we are as well. While it may not seem easy, worshipping God through our difficult times is an effective way to process and come to an understanding about the out-of-our-control world around us.
Commit this week to spending time worshipping God, whether your week is good or bad, by praying to him, singing to him, and/or by reading the Bible. Commit also to turn to Him the next time things are out-of-control and see what a difference it truly makes.
Video clip idea by Kelly Erickson; Written by Jamie Locklin
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.