The following is an excerpt from John Owen's treatise, Of Communion with God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Each Person Distinctly, in Love, Grace, and Consolation; or, The Saints' Fellowship with the Father, Son and Holy Ghost Unfolded (huzzah!). Yes, Owen's prose is antique-sounding and sometimes hard to follow, but I think he says some really great things here that we ought to spend some time on. Simply put, do you ever think about how much the Holy Spirit loves you? Is he as real, as much of a person to you, as the other members of the Godhead? Verbose though he may be, Owen's words here stir me a lot - especially what he says about how the Spirit bears with us so continually even though we're doing things to grieve and quench him all the time. Anyway, here you go:
THIRDLY. The principle and fountain of all his [the Spirit's] actings for our consolation comes next under consideration, to the same end; and this leads us a little nearer to the communion intended to be directed in. Now, this is his own great love and infinite condescension. He willingly proceedeth or comes forth from the Father to be our comforter. He knew what we were, and what we could do, and what would be our dealings with him,--he knew we would grieve him, provoke him, quench his motions, defile his dwelling-place; and yet he would come to be our comforter. Want of a due consideration of this great love of the Holy Ghost weakens all the principles of our obedience. Did this dwell and abide upon our hearts, what a dear valuation must we needs put upon all his operations and actings towards us! Nothing, indeed, is valuable but what comes from love and good-will. This is the way the Scripture takes to raise up our hearts to a right and due estimation of our redemption by Jesus Christ. It tells us that he did it freely; that of his own will he hath laid down his life; that he did it out of love. "In this was manifested the love of God, that he laid down his life for us;" "He loved us, and gave himself for us;" "He loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood." Hereunto it adds our state and condition, considered as he undertook for us,--sinners, enemies, dead, alienated; then he loved us, and died for us, and washed us with his blood. May we not hence, also, have a valuation of the dispensation of the Spirit for our consolation? He proceeds to that end from the Father; he distributes as he will, works as he pleaseth. And what are we, towards whom he carrieth on this work? Froward, perverse, unthankful; grieving, vexing, provoking him. Yet in his love and tenderness doth he continue to do us good. Let us by faith consider this love of the Holy Ghost. It is the head and source of all the communion we have with him in this life.
Remember, friends, that the Holy Spirit is the water, so to speak, in which you as a believer swim, and that without his ministry in your heart there is no affection for God, no pleasantness to Christ or his promises, no hope or consolation in this life, and no exercise of any spiritual gifts that bear fruit to God whatsoever. How he loves you, to take away your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh! And remember, especially when his ministry to you seems slight, what Jesus said: "If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" (Lk. 11:13).
"It is God who's working in you, both your willing and your working, for his pleasure" (Phil. 2:13), and he does that by his Spirit that dwells in you. Praise the Lord!