What does it mean to be lucky? The dictionary describes luck as random, when things happen by chance. Things do seem to happen by chance sometimes…
The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favour to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all. Ecclesiasties 9:11
An athlete can fall during a race, an investor can loose their money when a business fails, a friend can be diagnosed with cancer, while a criminal may escape without being punished.
Equally, good things can happen; people fall in love, cures for diseases are discovered, a job application is successful – but is it all really just luck? Or, is God really in control?
God doesn’t promise us good luck, in fact the word luck is never mentioned in the Bible. There are no random or chance happenings with God in control. God has a purpose for this world and there is no event in our lives that is not in some way a part of that plan.
I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. Isaiah 45:7
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28-29
The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. Proverbs 15:3
The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD. Proverbs 16:33
Perhaps instead of wishing our friends “good luck” it would be much better to say “God bless you”
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you, the Lord turn His face towards you and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26
Wishing others in difficulty “Good luck”
If we have faith in God then we need to prove we really have faith by the things we do – by our behaviour. Expressed in another way, we need to show our faith in our actions (our works).
What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? James 2:14
For example, we can prove our faith by giving help to the needy.
If a fellow man or woman has no clothes to wear and nothing to eat, and one of you say, “Good luck to you I hope you’ll keep warm and find enough to eat”, and yet give them nothing to meet their physical needs, what on earth is the good of that? James 2:15-16 (J.B. Phillips translation)
It is not much help to the person in need if you all you do is wish them “good luck”. This means very little in their time of physical distress. The one in need is not helped and the one failing to offer help has not shown a true Christ-like character by giving genuine care to others.
Rather than wishing others “Good luck” when they are in a difficult situation, we should think how we can actually help them.
Success and “Good luck”
When we wish someone “good luck” don’t we really mean that we wish them success, happiness, good health, happy families, contentment and other good things?
That may not seem like a bad thing at all, but it is so easy to let money be the top priority in our lives…
Now listen, you who say, ”Today or tomorrow we will go to this, or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13
We are surrounded by pressure to achieve success, to work harder, earn more money, buy a bigger house, a newer car…
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 1 Timothy 6:9
God wants us to trust in Him, not in money;
Whoever trusts in his riches will fall but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf. Proverbs 11:28
The LORD makes poor and makes rich; He brings low and lifts up. He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the beggar from the ash heap, to set them among princes and make them inherit the throne of glory. For the pillars of the earth are the Lord's, and He has set the world upon them. He will guard the feet of His saints, but the wicked shall be silent in darkness. For by strength no man shall prevail.1 Samuel 2:7-9
If we trust in God and try to follow His ways …
God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us…Ephesians 3:20
God’s word, the Bible, teaches us His way to find happiness.
Do not let this Book of the Law (Bible) depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful wherever you go. Joshua 1:8
Delivery from an awkward situation
We may be able to think of a situation in our life where we find ourselves delivered from an awkward situation by unexpected happenings. The circumstances may appear perfectly natural at the time, but on looking back so much seems to come out of so little that the “natural” happenings appear remarkable. The man who does not have living faith in his God would boast of his “good luck” at avoiding the difficult situation. However, the man (or woman) who believes in God would pray to their God.
For I will not trust in my bow, nor shall my sword save me. But You have saved us from our enemies,…..In God we boast all day long, and praise Your name forever. Psalm 44:6-8
The acknowledgment of God in these words shows the reality of his belief in God. It shows the power of our God to save those who put their trust in Him.
Back in ancient times, the Assyrian army came against Judah and was a serious threat. However, during one night many of the Assyrian army died:
And it came to pass on a certain night that the angel of the Lord went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand; and when people arose early in the morning, there were the corpses—all dead. (2 Kings 19:35).
When King Sennacherib’s Assyrian army was smitten, those in Judah could have spoken of their “Luck” or “Good Fortune” that a large part of the army died during the night, but rather they praised God for His deliverance of them. King Hezekiah of Judah (Israel) in a psalm says
The Lord has done great things for us, and we are glad. Psalm 126:3
They are words that we should always keep in mind: “The Lord has done great things for us, and we are glad”. There are hundreds of things that happen in our life that are not “the acts of God” at all; but when His purpose requires it, He will intervene. However, across the span of our life, God is always watching over us like a shepherd with his flock of sheep.
People associate gambling with being “lucky” or “unlucky”. You may know of people who have lost their homes or their fortunes or their families by gambling, Gambling seems to offer a way to get money quickly and easily but the Bible offers good advice;
Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow. Proverbs 13:11
The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.1 Timothy 6:10
A faithful man will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished. Proverbs 28:20
Jesus told a parable about a rich young man who gambled away all his inheritance and everything that he had. He was so desperate that he found a job feeding pigs and so hungry that he would eat some of the pigs food. Luke 15:11-32
The young man was afraid to go back to his father’s house but when he did he was welcomed with open arms. God is like the young man’s father, He’s waiting for us to get our priorities right, and willing to forgive us our mistakes if we repent.
The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. Matthew 10:29
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us-they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:3-5