I came to Houston in August of 1988 to enroll in college. I didn’t have any idea what the future held. I was a smart kid, but I could never have predicted that before I graduated, the Cold War would suddenly end and the Berlin Wall would come down. I had no idea that a decade later, a very different kind of enemy would bring down the World Trade Center on national television. I didn’t know the Houston Oilers would leave, the Astrodome would sit for years as an empty, rotting hulk, and that for a while, the Rockets’ best player would be a 7 foot 6 Chinese guy. I didn’t know that someday, TV cameras would record the daily lives of the kind of talentless, obnoxious, socially and morally deviant exhibitionists and show-offs that we usually avoid at all costs in real life, and millions of Americans would watch this and call it entertainment. I didn’t know something called the internet would soon make dozens of things I took for granted irrelevant, from the home encyclopedia to the US Postal Service. I didn’t know my kids would live in a world where their friends would use their phones to take pictures of themselves eating dessert, then use those same phones to send out those pictures to hundreds of people they barely know, or don’t know at all, then wait impatiently to see what the world thought of it all. And I certainly didn’t know that my carefully planned career path was ridiculous, and that someday I would be pastoring a church.
We don’t know what life will hold. In some ways that is exciting, but in many ways, it’s terrifying. How many times has life pulled the rug out from under you, and something you thought was a sure thing turned out to be false? There was a person you loved, and who you thought would love you forever, and then one day they were gone. You took a job offer you thought was the best thing that ever happened to you, but within months or weeks, you were trying to escape it. You thought you had put more than enough money into retirement to live comfortably for the rest of your life, and still leave plenty to your kids, but it evaporated seemingly overnight. There was a loved one who you thought would always be there, and then one cold morning you stood at their graveside and wondered, “How am I going to live without you?” If there’s one thing that seems to be certain in this world, it’s that you can’t be certain of anything. Or can you? There are some things that are certain in your life if you are a believer in Christ Jesus. If you follow Him, Romans 8:9 promises that you have the Holy Spirit inside you. For several weeks now, we've been talking about the difference the Spirit makes in our lives. This Sunday, I'll conclude that series, with a look at what the assurance the Holy Spirit gives us. We'll look at Romans 8, and discover what we can know for sure about life.