The primary function of the Spirit of God in the world today is to convict us of our sin and of our need for a savior and to convince us of the infallibility and authority of God’s Word. The truths of scripture have many different titles. It’s called the Word of God, the Truth, the Holy Writings, the Scriptures, God’s Word, and at times the Word of Christ. When the Spirit fills our lives and we let the Word of God live in us, the natural result is thanksgiving! Paul exhorted the believers everywhere to Surrender to the Spirit of God and submit to God’s Word and let the results fill our lives. The result of living such a life is always a life of peace with God as well as a thankful heart. He wrote in Colossians 3:15-16, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.”

The Apostle Paul is the hero of thanksgiving. He writes about it in Colossians and in Ephesians but really focuses on it in the book of Romans. Many times I’ve heard people tell me that it’s really easy for me to say we should all be thankful, but I don’t know what’s going on in their lives right now and if I did I would say such cliché’s to them. My first reaction is a personal one and I’ve learned never to voice it. I think “do you think my life is all perfect and that I don’t have any problems or that I haven’t suffered any loss of any kind?” I don’t say that, but I usually think it. I like to quote Paul’s comment to the Corinthians that there is no trial or temptation that is not common to man. We want to say “poor me,” and we sing the old spiritual “nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen.” The truth is we all know trouble and suffering and loss.

No one knew it better than the first century believers in Rome. Nero was great and setting them on fire to light the walk in his garden. He was great at sending them to the coliseums to be attacked and eaten by wild dogs and lions for the entertainment of his constituents. He was great at many other creative ways of torture and execution as well. But Paul tells the Romans the truth about their situation that transcends all the sufferings of life. He writes, “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 daylong; 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.” If this word dwells in us, we can’t help but be thankful no matter what’s going on in our lives.”

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18