One on my favorite actors in Denzel Washington. He spoke at the Commencement at Dillard University in Louisiana and it was a stunner. In one word the speech was about thankfulness. Thankfulness to God for grace. It was one of those messages that struck all the right notes as far as I am concerned and you can find it online.
Thankfulness is one of those things that we talk about but seldom think about all of the implications of what it really means. Thankfulness in all things means a recognition of the absolute mercy and grace that is bestowed upon us from the outside and is independent of what we do and think. It is a reliance upon and a naked trust in God even when things are going badly. It is an understanding that we should trust in God and not in God’s gifts, we trust in His grace which means in God himself.
Luther believed that the Gospel disappears because of thanklessness. The Spirit withdraws because of thanklessness and scourges from the outside come to us because of thanklessness. He said that those who are parasites and hirelings and slaves love salvation but they don’t love the Savior. He makes an interesting comment that these kinds of “so called Christians” would let God’s good gifts be unpraised and unloved if heaven and hell did not exist. God is like a vending machine to them and if the machine does not produce happiness at a prodigious clip there is no “naked reliance upon God himself”.
That brings a light to the statement made by Job in the midst of the most trying circumstances. “Even if He slays me I will hope in Him……” Job 13:15
Anyway it was pretty stunning to hear about thankfulness from a college campus commencement. Check it out.