Be filled with the Spirit … giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 5:18, 20

 

The Holy Spirit does many things with and for us. He is a literal life-changing force in the lives of people who follow Christ. I make this statement from personal experience and base it upon the testimony of God’s Word. When people accept Christ as their Savior and Lord, they are given the gift of acceptability in the righteous eyes of God. At that time we all become new beings, different to the core of our spirits, and we are washed clean of our sinful natures by baptism into Christ’s sacrificial blood. Then the Spirit begins to work in us to transform all that remains of our sin infused selves into the perfect holiness of Christ.

 

This is not an easy process. We are all born with a nature that is directed away from God. People are naturally defiant and rebellious, and we are also wired to be quarrelsome, selfish, and vain. We want things to be the way that we think suits us best, and we desire for other people to bow down to our sense of what is right and wrong. Almost everyone wants to be the one who is calling all of the shots in this life. Then Christ intercepts our journey. He shows us the unconditional and unending love that God, the Father, has for us, and Christ calls us to repentance for our sinful rebellion and into acceptance of God’s grace and mercy. We are changed.

 

So, it is this changed person who can do what Paul instructs us to do in this verse. As Christ is in us, we can understand and live in the true nature of thankfulness. In Christ we are alive! We are beloved children of the Eternal God! We are given wisdom, strength, comfort, grace, and mercy all tendered in love that is endless and complete! The relationship with God that Christ has given to me is more than enough reason to pour out my thanks to the Father. There is nothing in this life that is outside of the boundaries of thankfulness. No pain or loss, suffering or defeat can overcome my ability to enter into the grace that God grants to my soul, for the Spirit of Christ never leaves me and He continually speaks thanksgiving and praise to God into my ear.