Luck and the Sovereignty of God


Today is a day many consider to be the unluckiest day of the year. Whenever Friday and the date of the 13th come together, there are those who try to avoid getting bad luck from a number of places. Things that are believed to cause bad luck range from black cats, cracks in the floor, to walking underneath ladders. Superstition plays a huge part in our culture, regardless of whether or not you believe in it. The concept of luck is a way that we try to explain occurrences that are weird and by chance.

As a Christian, I do not believe in the existence of luck, therefore the response on this day is amusing, but it also concerns me. It’s so easy to walk in fear and anxiety based on a view that doesn’t have any power, but feels so real at the same time. I believe that there are situations and patterns we witness and we have the tendency to find a narrative in it that we can understand. This isn’t always from a bad place, because God does have a way of operating in our circumstances, and has a narrative that He Himself is advancing. He is very intentional in revealing Himself and His plans to us. The bad part is that superstition by nature deconstructs God’s narrative into a non-personal string of chance encounters that only we have the ability to manipulate.

The narrative of God is not under our control, but it is a history that He willingly invites us to participate in and witness. Even when you encounter the concept of casting lots, which was similar to rolling dice, the Bible speaks about the outcome belonging to God. Like in Proverbs 16:33.

The lot is cast into the lap,
But its every decision is from the Lord. Proverbs 16:33 (NKJV)

In this verse, we’re aware that casting lots are done to choose an outcome randomly, but it still emphasizes the outcome happens because God is in control. I will admit that it is difficult when we try to understand how God is involved in everything that takes place in life, because there are things that happen that looks exactly like luck or chance. There are also things that happen that we wonder about, and we ask God why would He allow it to happen in the first place.

But in the midst of those wondering questions, I encourage you to meditate, or think about what He revealed through the Bible about His ways and His heart. The power that He has and operates in does not compete with His character, but His character complements and informs His power. Instead of fearing bad luck and manipulating non-personal circumstances so that you can have good fortune, trust in the goodness of God because He is personally invested working things all together for the good. Not just your good, but for what is good overall, like Romans 8:28 says.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 (NKJV)

You don’t have complete control over the circumstances and situations you will face in life. But you do have the opportunity to choose love. God is love, and He works all things together for good, but for those who love Him. We have the opportunity to love God with our heart, mind, soul, and strength, and to love our neighbors around us. Love will always conquer fear, and we can never leave that up to chance.

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