Biblical Counselor Julie Ganschow is director of Reigning Grace Counseling Center in Kansas City, MO, and writes at bc4women.blogspot.com. This article first appeared on her blog.
I was recently with my dad in Las Vegas. Even though I know that the city is built on gambling and games of chance, I was still struck by the thousands of people filling casinos playing card games and slot machines hoping to strike it rich on a quarter or a dollar. While out and about, I saw many people wearing their lucky t-shirts and carrying their lucky charms.
How much of what happens in life is attributed to luck, good fortune, blessings, karma or rubbing a lucky rabbit’s foot?
How often do you use the word “lucky” in relation to a situation?
I hear people say things like, “Lucky that car stopped when it did.” or “My luck ran out.” Even that childhood saying, “lucky ducky” carries the idea that our fates and fortunes are in the hands of some mystical force called “luck.”
Are Close Calls and Narrow Misses Just Good Luck?
This got me to thinking. To what should we as Christians credit the things that occur in our daily lives; those close calls and narrow misses. How much of what happens in our lives do we chalk up to luck?
Sometimes I think we say it was providence but really think “luck” because we know that as people of faith it is not acceptable to rely on luck. As Christians, we have all heard the warnings against using the word “luck.” The idea is superstitious and goes against the sovereignty and providence of God.
For he will deliver the needy when he cries for help, The afflicted also, and him who has no helper. Psalm 72:12
Our command is to think biblically about life and all it contains. By His grace, God brings and allows things into our lives. His purpose and intention is multi-faceted, but the overall goal is Christ-likeness. God is orchestrating our circumstances for His glory and our good.
That car didn’t stop before hitting you out of luck, it stopped because it was not in God’s plan for it to hit you. If you were injured or hurt, that too was somehow in His plan. God does not exercise His sovereignty on a whim, or impulsively, but only in a way that His love deems best for us.
God Gives Us Mercy Because We NEED It
It is when the Word of God is applied to the heart of a person that understanding comes. Many times we don’t realize that we are not thinking biblically until we sit down and face it in a quiet moment. God is rich in grace and mercy, and He delights in pouring it out on His children. He always stands for us.
Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. Psalm 33:20
God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
The Bible says He will deliver the needy when he cries for help (Psalm 72:12). Why? Why does He shower us with grace and give us mercy? Why does God not give us what we truly deserve?
And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, Romans 9:23
…so these also now have been disobedient, that because of the mercy shown to you they also may now be shown mercy. Romans 11:31
…and for the Gentiles to glorify God for His mercy; as it is written, “Therefore I will give praise to You among the Gentiles, And I will sing to Your name.” Romans 15:9
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us… so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7
We are shown mercy because we need it. We need a reprieve from what we have coming to us precisely because we are so sinful. We are the afflicted; we are the dead, the transgressors. Our ugliness and His redemption of us while we were in the ugliest state possible bring Him unbelievable glory.
Fake Gods and the One True God
All other gods require us to come to them clean and add to our goodness.
Jehovah God is the only God who takes us as we are; dead in our trespasses and sins, living in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and by nature children of wrath.
We were not shown mercy and given help because we were so good, but because we were so evil. God did not add His goodness to ours and make us better; He added His goodness to our sinfulness and made us clean. He did for us what we could not do for ourselves.
God helps us and shows us mercy because it glorifies Himself. May He be forever glorified on earth and in the heavens!
photo credit: Gambling at the casino via photopin (license)