An Attitude of Gratitude & A Confident Future

Don’t give up on the younger generation!  Here’s another bright, shining light to encourage you.

A Baccalaureate message from

Shadrach Wacker, graduate of Jackson County Central High School Class of 2014

 Hello everyone.  I wanted to come up here tonight to talk to everyone and just let them know how important God is to me, and how my faith has helped me to be the man I am today. 

 Most of you know me as a sports-loving, always-in-a-good-mood, happy guy. In fact some of you ask me, “Shad, how are you always in such a good mood?”  My answer is simple. God is the One who puts me in a good mood every day. Most of us wake up and immediately think about all the negative things in life and we take for granted that God has blessed us with another day of life. We take for granted that He woke us up this morning and has allowed us to walk, breathe, talk, and see. There are people in the world that are not fortunate enough to be able to get up and see each beautiful day that the Lord has given us, or be able to walk on their own two feet. Every morning I try to keep this in mind and to have a positive outlook on the day. Now I’m not saying that I’m perfect in this way.  Yes, I am occasionally in a bad mood and can be negative, but no one is perfect.  

Colossians 3:23-24 says “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”


This is the mindset that I try to wake up with every morning. 

Everyone goes through many hardships throughout their life. I’m sure each and everyone of you here have gone through something in your life and have thought, why me? These tests are given to you by God.  They are tests of faith, and during these tests it is not easy to be happy with God. I often find myself asking God, “why me?” But I know God has his plan for everyone and that whatever I am going through it will work itself out in the end.  

1 Peter 1:7 says, “These have come so that your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 


Having faith in God is one of the toughest things for any person to do. As Hebrews 11:1 puts it “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”  And this is why God rewards those who put their trust in the Lord and have faith in Him, for Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.” 

As we all grow older and start a new chapter in our lives,  one thing that will no longer be a premium is choices. We will all be faced with tough choices in the future. Some easier than others. I am still faced with the choice of what college to attend next year, and, although I have put a lot of thought into it, I know that I do not have to worry because it is in the Lord’s hands as to where I will go. I pray to Him every night to guide me in the right direction and to make the right choices. Some of us will be faced with harder choices than others. Some of you might be faced with the choice of turning away from God, or accepting Him into your life as your Savior. But no matter what, God will always be there for you with his forgiveness.  

Matthew 7:13-14 it says   “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” 


This means that not every decision will be easy, and that we must make the hard choices in life for that is what God asks  of us. 

 Proverbs 14:12 says “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” 


Always keep in mind that our plan, may not always be Gods plan, as Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”  

The Lord has been, and always will be, with me. Because of this, I know that I can take on any challenge. Every battle I’ve been thrown, over the course of these four years, God has been with me every step and has helped me fight my battles.  I know that he will continue to do the same for me in the future. 

Everyday my faith gets stronger and I hope some of you tonight, after hearing this speech, that your faith has grown stronger as well. Life is tough, and it will only get tougher from here on out, but we don’t have to face it alone. Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is with us every step of the way.  And, if you are ever in need of someone, you can always count on Him.  

I leave you with this verse from Romans 8:35-39:


 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Amen.


Carl Kerby

Carl Kerby is an inspiring, motivating and highly respected Christian speaker. With more than 20 years of ministry experience, Carl shares his extensive knowledge and understanding of God’s creation in his presentations, outreach events, books and other resources as the President and founding board member of Reasons for Hope, Inc.