Summary: This message is part of a movie series looking at Will Smith Movies - this one looks at the real life story of Chris Gardner in The Pursuit of Happyness

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Chris Gardner’s story is a great story...

Husband, father, salesman - selling doctors scanning machines they don’t want or need. He knows there has to be more! He meets a guy driving a Ferrari, who is a stockbroker. He tells Chris to get that job you need good math skills, and good people skills - Chris decides to go for it... (Show Clip: 00:41:17 - 00:46:20)

As a father, much of the movie centers around Gardner’s relationship with his son and the lessons he wants to teach him as they struggle through life together...

(Show clip 00:53:58 - 00:55:45)

Much of this movie is hard to watch. Gardner’s story is hard. At various points, his life seems to be spiraling out of control and things keep getting worse. His wife leaves him. His business as a salesman is a failure. His internship is challenging and unpaid. For some of the movie, he and his son are homeless. But in the end, it pays off!

(Show clip 01:48:24 - 01:52:26)

There are several great things it shows us.

Its a powerful lesson in responsibility and fatherhood. He could have easily given up many times, but he endured. he kept going not just because he wanted to succeed, but because of his son. he wanted to give his son a better life than he knew - and that is a very admirable thing!

Its also a powerful lesson in working hard, believing in yourself, and how hard work pays off. Gardner kept going, road block after road block - and it paid off in the end. That’s usually true for us too...

One of the things that makes this movie really special is that its a story of hope. In fact, thats what I wanted to talk about tonight - hope. Gardner had an amazing hope, or faith - I wish the movie would have developed that concept a little deeper. Where did his hope come from? How did he have so much hope in spite of such a difficult background... We never really get the answer to those questions from the movie.

As believer’s one of our marks - one thing that is supposed to set us apart is our hope - our faith - our trust that God is up to something and will come through...

In 1 Peter 3:15 it says “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” This passage talks about suffering while going good. The early church was under constant scrutiny. As they stood for Christ, often they were persecuted... But they had something special. They had a hope that no one else had...

Our faith is really hope lived out...

Hebrews 11:1 “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.”

Two great prayers of Paul:

Ephesians 1:15-18 “For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.”

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