Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh! We had recording problems yesterday and so there will be no new sermon uploaded this week.
In the sermon, which was focused around Romans 8:18-39, I began by noting that in the middle of his letter, Paul stopped to point out that we do, in fact, face struggles and suffering in our lives. But we should live above those. Paul points to the glory of God that is yet to be revealed to us as a reason not to dwell on our current sufferings. He actually says our present sufferings "are not worth comparing" to this future glory we will receive.
The reason this is true, is because our sufferings, as we groan together with the creation, attest that something greater is coming. We have the firstfruits of God's Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing our future inheritance so we should live our lives in expectancy of the revelation of God's plan.
Meanwhile, to help us amidst our sufferings, God himself prays within us through his Spirit. He works on our behalf for the good of his plan for the world, and all through this, the love of Christ keeps us so that nothing will ever separate us from God.
So we should be encouraged that whatever we face in life now is in fact the "birth pains" (8:22) of something greater that is being built right now. We don't always see it but we catch glimpses of it...of God's glory.