Something I've been increasingly sensitive to lately is the role luck plays in our lives. We often wish others "good luck" when they face challenges and write it off to "bad luck" when things go contrary to our wishes. But is this the right attitude? I started thinking about the Biblical role of luck when I wished a brother in Christ good luck on something and he said, "luck will have nothing to do with it."
Webster's defines luck as "a force that brings good fortune or adversity". But Webster's does not specify what causes this "force" and goes on to associate "luck" with "chance". Therein lies the danger: luck denies the sovereign control of God. The Bible teaches that God is in control of everything. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:29, "Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground without your Father's will."
There is a story in 1 Samuel 4-6 about Israel being defeated by the pagan Philistines who took the ark of God from them. The Philistines soon suspected their taking the ark was causing people to be stricken with tumors and die in every city they kept it. They thought the afflictions might still be "by chance" and decided to test this by putting the ark on a cart hitched to two unsupervised milk cows. When released, the cows did not go home to be with their calves, they took the most direct roads to Israel. God makes it clear even to the pagans that He is in control.
Jesus Christ told a story in Luke 10:30-36 about two religious men who came "by chance" upon a man who had been mugged and did not help him. Another man who was not as highly regarded because he was a Samaritan stopped and rendered aid. Being religious does not make one a believer who cares about pleasing God. Opportunities to help others are simply chance occurrences to unbelievers while Christians recognize them as divine providence to act as a vessel for God.
The next time you have an opportunity to encourage someone, you may consider telling them you hope it works out for the best instead of just wishing them luck. Better yet, remind them that God is in control and answers prayer. An offer to pray for them and asking God to bless them may be appropriate as well. "The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." (James 5:16)
I clearly remember when I decided to "take a chance" on following Jesus Christ. My attitude about Jesus had been much the same as a recent observation made by a secular writer in an April 4, 1994 Newsweek article, "the fact that a great religion (Christianity) grew from such humble beginnings may, in itself, suggest a divine plan." This favorable predisposition based on human logic did not save me but it was evidence of the Holy Spirit opening my heart to Jesus. I now know I wasn't taking a chance at all, I was responding to God's love. "We love Him because He first loved us." (1 John 4:19)
If you haven't "taken a chance" on Jesus Christ, give Him a try. Jesus said in Matthew 11:30, "My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Life is better when we trust the Lord in all things. "'And try Me now in this,' says the Lord of hosts, 'if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.'" (Malichi 3:10)