On the way home from work the other day, driving through a dense morning fog, I turned left without seeing an oncoming car. The car was coming at me pretty fast and, thanks to the fog, I didn’t see it until it was right on top of me. A collision seemed pretty imminent, but the cars missed each other by only a matter of inches.
That event has caused me to reflect on matters of luck verses matters of blessing.
Immediately after narrowly missing the other car I began praising God and thanking Him for sparing me from the accident. In my past life, I would have reacted differently. Before I was a believer, I would have attributed my good fortune to simple luck. However, I now know better. Proverbs 16:33 provides a solid principle for believers concerning matters of luck:
“The lot is cast into the lap, But its every decision is from the Lord.”
It’s every decision is from the Lord. From our limited vantage point, it may seem like we’re rolling the dice, but God is in control of the results. I’m not suggesting that God controls every roll of the dice during our game of Monopoly, but it is important for us to remember that the results of our dice roll is a matter of His providence or control. If I roll double snake eyes, it is only because he directly caused it to happen or because he allowed it to happen. Either way, God is in control. All things are a matter of God’s active or passive will.
When we attribute our good fortune to luck, we are failing to recognize God as the source of our blessings. In Christ, however, we know better. When we praise God for our good fortune it reflects a significant change of heart.
This is a pretty easy concept to grasp when we consider our good fortune but it becomes a little more difficult when we consider the bad things that happen to us. When something that seems bad enters our life (a job loss, relationship issues, disease, etc) it is still a matter of God’s providence. He has either caused it to happen or has allowed it to happen.
They key question we need to ask God amid such circumstances is, “Why?”
James, the half-brother of Jesus, offers this thought:
“2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2-4).
When a Christian faces a significant event in life, be it a blessing or a trials, she should understand that God is in control of all things … and this understanding should have a huge impact on our response! When faced with good or bad fortune, we should seek God’s counsel and ask Him how we are to respond and grow and what we are supposed to learn from the situation.
I’ll conclude my thoughts with more from James Chapter 1 as it seems to apply well:
“5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously andwithout reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.7 For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, 8 being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” (James 1:5-8).