3 Ways #Unbroken Shows Us How To Endure Through Suffering

“Unbroken” is not for the faint of heart.

It captured a painfully realistic look at the amazing story of Louis Zamperini. Though there are some lighthearted moments, director Angelina Jolie took pains to show the anguish of what Zamperini endured. Personally, the highlight was seeing how he survived 45 days on a life raft by eating fish, a shark, and even an albatross! It is pretty amazing that men could survive for that long on the open ocean.

The rest of the movie shows in gripping detail the torture he and the other prisoners of war endured under the Japanese.

Zamperini showed strength in the face of many beatings, crazy work conditions, and pschological torture. In all of these situations he never backed down. I believe were three things the kept Zamperini alive during these horrible tragedies and can help us endure sufferings we face.

1. Listen to friends who encourage and believe in you.

Zamperini’s brother believed in him, before he believed in himself.

His older brother was the one who encouraged him to start running track instead of running from the cops. Zamperini’s learned endurance through running, and that preserverance served him well later. In training, his older brothers told him,

“If you can take it, you can make it.”

Believing in a person can totally transform someone’s life. As a minister, part of my job is to believe in people even when they don’t believe in themselves.

2. Realize the pain is temporary.

Eventually, Zamperini became a great distance runner and made the Olympics in Germany. As he was leaving on the train his brother shouted…

“One moment of pain is nothing compared to a lifetime of glory.”

I believe it was this statement that got Zamperini through many of his trials. His brother probably meant it in a physical sense, but the statement also has deep meaning for Christians. The Apostle Paul faced even worse trails than Zamperini and wrote this,

“And this small and temporary trouble we suffer will bring us a tremendous and eternal glory, much greater than the trouble.” 2 Cor 4:17 GNT

For the Christian, trouble is temporary. 

We can look forward to the day when we will experience no more crying or pain in Heaven.  I believe that it was hope it wasn’t going to last forever that got Zamperini through even the darkest days.

3. Trust in God to get you through.

In the middle of a violent storm Zamperini prayed a desperate prayer,

“God if you get me through this, I will serve you for my whole life, I will do whatever you want.”

Somehow God got him through, because God had a plan for Zamperini. God saved Zamperini and he kept his promise to God by serving him for the rest of his life. His story has been used to inspired many to keep on running the race God has for them.

Once rescued, he returned home and ended up getting saved at a Billy Graham crusade in LA. After being forgiven by Jesus he forgave his oppressors in Japan. He even got to fulfill his dreaming running in the Olympics by carrying torch at the Japan Olympics when he was 80 years old. No matter what you are facing this movie can encourages you to endure, if you can endure the movie!

How does this story inspire you to endure through suffering?

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About David Worcester

I am the founder and director of a campus ministry at San Diego State called Challenge. I am also serving as an ordained elder at Mission Trails Church. I love speaking and writing about college ministry, gospel appointments, and practical ways to live out God’s Word! I am also passionate about: leadership training, learning, missions, church planting, surfing, hiking, sports, photography and traveling (So far I’ve visited 23 countries & all 50 states). I’m married to Jessica Worcester who I fell in love with while doing college ministry together and we have a two year old son named Samuel. I graduated from from the University of Oklahoma (OU) with a degree in Film & Video Studies. And I received my Masters in Theological Studies from Gateway Seminary. I am an ordained minister who loves speaking and writing about practical ways to live out God’s Word in life and ministry.

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