Do things happen by chance in God’s world? In a word, no , there is no such thing as chance, or fate, or good luck, or bad luck.
A faithful servant of God should be absolutely convinced inside that all things happen by God’s decree and not by chance or by good luck or bad luck.
As a Reformed pastor / theologian put it:
the church teaches according to the word of God, that nothing exists, or comes to pass in the whole world, unless by the certain and definite, but nevertheless most free and good counsel of God. Zacharias Ursinus, Commentary On The Heidelberg Catechism.
There are many testimonies from Scripture to support this truth.
The Apostle Paul reminded the Athenians of God’s work in the details of human life:
24 The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; 26 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’ Acts 17:24-28
And Jesus reminds us of God’s concern for sparrows and for the number of hairs on our heads:
29 Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows. Matthew 10:29, 30
We are supposed to draw comfort and encouragement from this teaching.
- God cares about sparrows and about the number of hairs on my head
- I am more valuable to God than many sparrows.
- I should not fear.
- I can trust God to provide for my needs.
Jesus also draws our attention to God’s care for wildflowers and wild grass.
25 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? Matthew 6:25-27
What comfort and encouragement do we see here?
- The birds of the air don’t sow, or reap, or gather into barns.
- Yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
- You are worth much more than they.
- Therefore, don’t worry about life (eat or drink); nor for your body, as to what you will put on.
And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Matthew 6:28-30
What comfort and encouragement do we see here?
- Wild lilies don’t work or spin cloth.
- But not even Solomon (the richest king on earth in his time) in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.
- So, if God so clothes the grass of the field (which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace)
- Will God not much more clothe me?
- I can trust God for clothing, and for whatever else I need for survival.
Finally, Jesus tells us to get our priorities straight:
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33
Don’t forget the guarantee of all promises: the Son, through whom the lilies, little birds, illnesses, enemies, and everything in heaven and on earth have been created and by the word of His power are upheld (Hebrews 1:3). This Son, who has been appointed heir of all things (Hebrews 1:2), the Father gave to die for you as the guarantee of His love, and He freely, by grace, ordained you to be joint heirs with His Son. How is it then possible for you to be harmed by any created thing, which can neither live nor move without the direct operation of the Son of God?
All created things exist in Him and are ruled by Him, and you are a joint heir with Him. Should it not be impossible, therefore, for created things to do anything but serve you and work together for your good, even when it appears as though most of them oppose you? The Apostle Paul looks to this guarantee in Romans 8:31, 32: “What more shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him freely give us all things?”
So be encouraged, brothers and sisters, God has got everything under control. He is working everything out for His glory and for our good.