This morning I was thinking of John 16:33 which says, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
In this particular passage, Jesus is talking to his disciples. He doesn't say, "You will have troubles, and then they'll all go away because you're my kid." He said, "You'll have troubles... BUT know that in the grand scheme of things, I have overcome the world."
I've been pondering that in context with what I know throughout the rest of the Bible - that He will bring you through adversity - and I think He's again alluding to the fact we see in James 1 - that we really can be joyful during troubles because He is ultimately in control and will bring us through it, not only to victory, but also with a better outlook on life and Him.
The Message Bible reads those verses this way: "I've told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I've conquered the world."
So yes, trouble will come, but we never have to be concerned that God has left us alone or has forgotten about us. He isn't even up in heaven saying, "Oh no, they're in a pretty rough situation! What should I do?" He knows exactly what is going on and what spiritual and natural laws are in place and He is working continually to align our lives with His perfect will and plan.
His behind-the-scenes working is even sneakier than Santa's because people don't realize it's happening. :-) Everyone knows that Santa comes on Christmas Eve with presents, although for children if it is done "right" they have no idea who/what/when/where/why it happened. God's ways are even more hidden because he's working in us continually to fulfill His plan, but it doesn't usually look like He is or by the time His help has been manifested, many people don't recognize it's Him!
Lord, help me to trust in You as you work behind the scenes to align my life with your plan. Remind me over and over that you have overcome the world - like people who pass levels on video games and then are able to share all their winning secrets with others. Help me to recognize your hand at work and be continually grateful for both what I see you doing and what I don't see.
Thanks for guiding my life. In Jesus' name, Amen.