Should Christians Believe in Luck?

Should Christians to Believe in Luck?

The word ‘luck’ is a strong part of our everyday conversation. Christian or not, we find ourselves wishing others and ourselves success in the future. At some point in your life, you must have heard someone shout out to you saying, "You are lucky" or "It's your luck". We wish 'good luck!’ before someone takes a test or attends an interview. We  also make statements like "it was supposed to rain today but we just got lucky". Gamblers and thieves too wish and hope for luck when rolling a dice, playing cards and when engaging in crime.
The concept of luck is applied in a wide spectrum of circumstances from trivial statements to life-altering events, but is wishing luck contrary to what we believe as Christians? Beyond these words, what do you see? Does chance, fate and luck exist? Or is God in control of everything?

What is Luck? defines luck as ‘good fortune; advantage or success, considered as the result of chance’. Luck is defined as a force that seems to operate for good or bad in the life of an individual (take note for good or bad). In most cases, it predicts the changes, events, circumstances and opportunities in the life of an individual based on the principles of chance and mathematical probability. There is nothing wrong with hoping for success in the future - after all, we're all uncertain about future events, good or bad. But when we believe in luck, we are implying that future successful events happen randomly as a result of chance.

The problem for Christians is, we can't believe in a God who is in control of our future all the time, while also believing that events happen randomly or that God himself is subject to chance and gets lucky.

Luck can be calculated. If you are tricky enough, you can determine luck in any event, a game, a decision or circumstances. This is why we tend to think it comes from some strange happenstance or chance whenever something good or bad happens. In this case, we are quick to attribute the outcome as the effect of some unseen force called luck. Since luck can fall in the good or bad side, the conclusion is simple - Luck is not for the believer. There is no strange force anywhere called force because nothing happens by chance in God's order.

What does the Bible say about Luck?

There are Bible passages that seem to imply that chance plays a role in our lives. For example, casting lots was a common practice among the ancient Israelites. It was used when difficult decisions had to be made. The high priest carried with him, Urim and Thummim (two precious stones) that he would pick at random when it came time to decide on important matters. In 1 Samuel 14:40-42, a lot was cast to find Jonathan guilty. In the story of Jonah, lot was cast to again find who was at fault for the raging sea. The idea with casting lots is not to let chance decide people’s fate, but instead to discover God's purpose or plan in a particular situation.

Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 alludes to randomness in life. It says, “the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor richest to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all”. This is a profound observation about the apparent unpredictability in life by Solomon, a very wise king whose wisdom came from God. But then, if we stop reading the book of Ecclesiastes at this verse, we would conclude that events in our lives are controlled by chance but thankfully that’s not how that book ends. Ruth 2:3 also describes the story of Ruth who “happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz”, giving the impression that Ruth met her husband Boaz by chance. But again, the rest of the book sees that event as being under God's direction.
God is always in control and for every passage in the Bible that seems to imply that our lives are controlled by chance, there are numerous others that affirm that God is directly in control of the events of our lives. Fr example, Proverbs 16:33 says that “the lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.” Casting a lot may seem random but even that outcome is from the Lord. Also, Isaiah 46:10 describes a God who declares the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done. Yet again, Psalm 139:16 talks about a God who has a book with all the days of our lives written in it before any of them came to pass. So, according to the Bible, events in our lives don’t happen randomly. They are all part of God's plan. Even our negative thoughts are used positively by God because most of our worries for the future are not about the good things that are going to happen to us but about the bad things. The good news for Christians is, the bad things work out to be good at the end. That’s exactly what Romans 8:28 says: “All things (good and bad) work together for good to those who love God”.

It’s not the worst thing in the world to wish someone luck, but perhaps we could wish him or her ‘all the best!’ next time and pray for them instead. In Genesis 1, God created everything and owns sovereignty over all. The sovereignty of God proves that He holds absolute control over all things. At different points in scriptures, the sovereignty of God is defended and further established (2nd Chronicles 16:9). The question to think about then is this - If God is truly sovereign and controls all things, why then would He permit something to happen by "chance"?
As believers, in Romans 8:28, we are reminded that God causes all things to work for the good of those that love Him and are called according to His commandment. The comfort which comes from knowing that you love God and He replicates same love is enough reason to be sure that God has you covered. Luck has no say in the agenda of God. This is the assurance that a believer in Christ holds tight to. God is always working things out for our good through His power and grace. As believers, God is the force of all good in our lives and He always works with a plan and purpose just as He says in Jeremiah 29:11. If God leaves anything to chance, then it contradicts His power and soverignty. Whenever "luck" turns in your favour, it is not luck. It is Blessing. This is further confirmed in God's word in Jeremiah 32:40 where He says He "will not turn from doing them good".

I am not Lucky. I am Blessed. (Click to Tweet)

Coincidence are not God's way of working. Everything happens strictly by the will of God. As believers, it is not right to attribute good things in our life to luck. Doing that is similar to living by fate instead of living by faith. Instead, we must learn to acknowledge God's blessing. You are not just lucky to be in the right place at the right time - Instead, it's God's blessings through His plans and purposes that put you there at that time

“I know God has a plan for my future”

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