When Paul writes to the Ephesians he says, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:18-21).

Most of us are familiar with the fruits of the spirit given to us clearly in Galatians 5. They are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control. These nine are famous because they’re listed as such in this passage. But this list is not exhaustive. It’s more exemplary. There are other “fruits of the spirit.” One important one is “thankfulness” as we learn in the Ephesians passage. When the Spirit of God controls our lives we are grateful, thankful people.

It is only through the Spirits presence that we can be thankful people at all times. It’s only through the power of the Spirit that Job said “the Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed is the name of the Lord.” It’s only through God’s Spirit that he said “naked came I into the world and naked from it I will go.” And only the Holy Spirit could have inspired his words, “although He slay me, yet will I put my faith in Him.” An unknown author wrote this poem:

O Thou whose bounty fills my cup, With every blessing meet!
I give Thee thanks for every drop—The bitter and the sweet.

I praise Thee for the desert road, And for the riverside;
For all Thy goodness hath bestowed, And all Thy grace denied.

I thank Thee for both smile and frown, And for the gain and loss;
I praise Thee for the future crown And for the present cross.

I thank Thee for both wings of love Which stirred my worldly nest;
And for the stormy clouds which drove Me, trembling, to Thy breast.

I bless Thee for the glad increase, And for the waning joy;
And for this strange, this settled peace Which nothing can destroy.

“Be filled with the Spirit… giving thanks always for everything.” Ephesians 5:20