Is Our Life Impacted by Luck?

Is Our Life Impacted by Luck?

A green leprechaun called “Lucky” smiles winsomely from a red cereal box. Lucky Charms cereal has “charmed” its way into breakfast bowls since the 1960s. According to the cereal’s website “each Lucky Charm has its own unique power” and children can be taught about “their marshmallow magic.”

Whether it’s through lucky charms, a four-leaf clover, or any other talisman of choice, luck is something we have probably grown up hearing about. We cannot help but wish one another “good luck” rather than see them face “bad luck.”

Luck presumes that we live in a world of random chance. It supposes we are subject to whatever life throws at us. Luck would suggest anything can happen and it’s outside of our control. But what does the Bible have to say about luck?

The Bible does not speak of luck directly. The idea of “casting lots” to make a decision is mentioned in the Old and New Testament. We do not know what the lot was, but it is akin to rolling a dice or flipping a coin. However, the Word of God shows that “every decision is from the Lord” (Proverbs 16:33). His plans and purposes prevail. Believers have the amazing privilege to go directly to the throne of God through Jesus, and ask Him for wisdom and direction. We do not need to cross our fingers and hope for the best, whilst avoiding walking under ladders and treating black cats with suspicion.

Chance, Choice or Chosen?

There is order in the universe brought about by God (Hebrews 11:3; Psalm 33:6; Psalm 33:9). Life and creation was intentional, not accidental. Human beings have purpose, worth and dignity as they are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). It was not luck or chance that brought us into being; it was God who formed us and breathed life into us.

We are blessed with life by a Creator God who holds all things together (Colossians 1:17). It is not a matter of being “lucky to be alive,” but to praise the One from whom all blessings flow. As the Doxology by Thomas Ken (1674) says:

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; 
Praise Him, all creatures here below; 
Praise Him above, ye heav'nly host; 
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. 


Blessings from God are abundant in the Bible. Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father (James 1:17). In the Old Testament, we read that Job was blessed in the latter part of his life more than the former part (Job 42:12). There are seasons and times for all things under the heavens (Ecclesiastes 3:1). God gives common grace over all people, causing His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on both the just and unjust (Matthew 5:45). Blessings are from God, not a matter of good luck.

Despite the many blessings we experience, our world is still filled with sin and evil. All of creation is groaning as a result of humanity’s decision to sin and disobey God (Romans 8:22). The choices and actions of individuals have good and bad consequences, which then affect others. We feel the repercussions of someone’s bad decisions. We see the pain and suffering in our own lives and those around us. This is not bad luck, although we may think it as we feel the effects.

Humans have the capacity to make right or wrong choices, and to sense when something is right or wrong. This ability was evident in the beginning when God gave Adam and Eve a choice to not eat the fruit from one tree. They made a bad choice, and the effect is still felt today through sin and death in ourselves and in creation. When they chose to disobey God, the world shifted in an instant, and they did not take responsibility for their decision, but blamed someone else whilst hiding. Sin tends to result in much blame and cover up, and little responsibility is taken or repentance offered.

Were Adam and Eve lucky or unlucky to be given the freedom to choose with the consequences that followed? Was the resulting decay and death in our world from their disobedience to God a stroke of bad luck? It was not by chance, but by choice. They were free to love and trust God, or to go their own way. However, when they chose to go their own way, they moved away from the abundant blessings of God, and from their relationship with their Creator. They rejected Love Himself. We also have to make a choice whether or not we will follow the Lord or choose the consequences of living in rebellion to Him.

The Lord is merciful and compassionate, not desiring any to perish but all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). He is the God of second chances. Phew, that’s lucky, isn’t it? Actually, luck has no part to play at all. None of this was random. The Lord had a purpose and a plan from the very beginning to save His people. He chose us before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). People may make bad choices, but God still chose His Son to rescue and redeem us and creation from sin and death.

The Sovereignty of God over All

The Bible is clear that God is in control and that He is sovereign. People plan their way, but the Lord determines their steps (Proverbs 16:9). Joseph experienced the ill-treatment of his brothers as he was sold into slavery, but he recognized that what they had intended to harm him with, God used for the saving of many lives (Genesis 50:20). God is not bound by time or space, but He fills heaven and earth and He can see what is hidden (Jeremiah 23:23-24). Jesus is “before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17).

There is also a supernatural realm of evil forces that we see in the book of Job. Satan comes into the presence of God and aims to break Job’s faithfulness. Yet, Satan and the powers of darkness are under the authority of God’s ultimate control. Nothing happens without God’s knowledge. We may struggle with the reality of suffering that Job went through, but we have the hindsight to know how God was going to bless Job after his trial.

In all of his affliction, Job did not give up his faith in God. That does not mean that suffering makes sense to us. Often it doesn’t. Yet, God knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10) and can see and comprehend things that we cannot. We can trust that the Lord is working in the midst of deep sorrow and pain.

It was not bad luck or a series of unfortunate events that caused Job’s misfortune. He was blameless and upright before God (Job 1:8). His life was important to God. Jesus said that God does not forget the sparrows and we are more precious than they, and that every hair on our head is numbered (Luke 12:7). He is a God of detail, and He cares about our lives. The preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon said:

“I believe that every particle of dust that dances in the sunbeam does not move an atom more or less than God wishes – that every particle of spray that dashes against the steamboat has its orbit, as well as the sun in the heavens – that the chaff from the hand of the winnower is steered as the stars in their courses. The creeping of an aphid over the rosebud is as much fixed as the march of the devastating pestilence – the fall of… leaves from a poplar is as fully ordained as the tumbling of an avalanche.”

Nothing is out of God’s watchful eye. He cares deeply about us, and if we are ever in doubt about that, we need only to look at the cross. At the cross, we see that our Creator who chose us from the very beginning also chose to die in our place for our sin. His love was not a matter of luck as He pulled us from death. It was His choice, His plan and His purpose to bring us to Himself. His providence and power are found in all creation. The smallest details do not go unnoticed.

For those feeling “down on your luck,” maybe it’s a prompt to cry out to Jesus, for He cares about you (1 Peter 5:7). Know that you have a choice to come to Him today and that He has a plan and a purpose for your life. It’s not luck that you need, but the Lord Jesus who loves you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3).  

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Jose Luis Pelaez Inc

Ruth Clemence 1200x1200Ruth Clemence is a wife, mom, writer and award-winning blogger based in Cardiff, Wales. Read more at: