Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | February 13, 2015

February 13, 2015 “Chances Are”

“We toss the coin,  but it is the Lord who controls its decision.” (Proverbs 16:33)

Good Morning and a Blessed day to everyone! Remember…this is the day the Lord has made, so rejoice!

Well, it’s Friday the Thirteenth! For some, this day holds the portent of misfortune, or “bad luck.” Are you a subscriber to the notion of luck? For example, recent headlines indicated that three “lucky” people had the winning numbers drawn in the latest Powerball lottery. How many times, I wonder, have you ever said “I was lucky I didn’t get killed or injured by a reckless driver today”? Or perhaps you attributed the fact that you spilled some spaghetti sauce on your clean white shirt to “a bit of bad luck.” This verse from Proverbs would seem to indicate that luck had nothing to do with any of these examples…that there is nothing of this world outside of God’s sovereignty. This begs the question, “Does the Lord really control everything that happens to us in life, including things like a coin toss or an impending traffic accident, or a powerball drawing? Surely there are things that happen merely by “chance”, right?

The more I ponder this verse, and other similar ones in scripture, the more convinced I am that there is nothing that happens purely by chance. I believe God’s sovereignty in all matters involves two aspects…His active and His passive will. What’s the difference? God’s active will is demonstrated by his direct involvement in certain situations to bring forth a desired end. Examples of God’s active will at work include the Egyptian plagues and the parting of the Red Sea…the Great Flood…the Incarnation itself, all done to accomplish His purposes.

God’s passive will involves God allowing, rather than causing, certain things to happen. For example, God allowed Joseph’s brothers to throw him into a pit and lie to their father regarding his fabricated demise in order to accomplish a greater good, a good that did not become apparent to Joseph or to his brothers for many years.

So what about things like powerball drawings or the toss of a coin at the beginning of a football game? What does God have to do with any of those things? From scripture, we do know that all things take place according to his will, be it active or passive, and therefore are not a matter of ‘chance’. More often than not, in matters so inconsequential as the toss of a coin or the numbers appearing on ping pong balls that are mechanically drawn through a vacuum tube, the Lord may allow the coin to land or the balls to be selected as his laws of nature would determine without active involvement on his part. But even when not actively involved, how the coin will land is still under his sovereignty. It’s that way for any event in our lives, no matter how small or how large. God is sovereign over all, and therefore nothing is merely a matter of chance or “luck”. From our perspective, things may seem to happen at random, but throughout Scripture, it is clear that God is in control of all creation, combining the acts of natural law, the acts of all people, be they good or bad in their intent, and even the wiles of the Enemy to ultimately accomplish His good and perfect will. Remember the promise we have in His word: “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) Let’s pray!

Sovereign Lord; Your Son taught us to pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Teach me to live understanding that You are Lord of all, and that my desire would always be that not my will, but Your will would be done in all areas of my life. This I humbly pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen!

 

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