Have you ever experienced an unlikely or remarkable coincidence that made you wonder if it was more than just chance? As Christians, we know that God is sovereign over all things. He works out His perfect plan and PURPOSES through the events of our lives. So how should we interpret coincidences from a biblical perspective?
In this post, we’ll explore key passages and principles from Scripture about coincidences and “chance” happenings. We’ll see that God is intentional, and He can use surprising occurrences to get our attention or communicate His truth. As you read, ask God to give you wisdom and discernment concerning the coincidences in your own life.
- Coincidences are not chance happenings but opportunities from God for us to seek His will and purpose.
- God may use coincidences to direct our paths, answer prayer, or reveal His power and sovereignty.
- We should have an attitude of continual dependence on God, rather than assuming coincidences are just luck.
- While some coincidences have no deeper meaning, others are “divine appointments” orchestrated by God.
- God’s timing is perfect, and He can orchestrate events in unlikely ways to accomplish His purposes.
- We can thank God for remarkable coincidences as evidence of His care and detail in our lives.
Coincidences Are Not Random Chance
In our secular culture, surprising coincidences are often attributed to luck or random chance. But as Christians, we recognize the hand of God’s providence ruling over all things. The Bible speaks frequently of God’s sovereignty and control over every circumstance.
Proverbs 16:33 states, “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.” This verse refers to the ancient practice of casting lots to make decisions, much like rolling dice today. Even this seemingly “random” process was governed by God’s unseen hand.
According to Isaiah 46:10, God declares “the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done.” He knows and orchestrates the future down to the intricate details. Based on God’s sovereignty, we can be sure there is purpose in the personal coincidences we experience.
Romans 8:28 gives us further confidence: “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.” Notice there are no chance occurrences from God’s perspective – He works through ALL things to accomplish His plans.
With this theological foundation, we can approach “coincidences” in our lives as opportunities to see God’s hand at work. Rather than dismissing them as luck, we can pray for eyes to recognize divine appointments.
God May Use Coincidences to Direct Our Paths
One way God may use coincidences is to direct and guide our steps. This is especially true when we specifically ask for His leading in decisions we face. Be sensitive to uncanny coincidences that provide clear direction shortly after bringing a matter to God in prayer.
For example, you may pray about whether God wants you to take a new job. Then “coincidentally,” you sit next to a colleague at a conference who works for that same company. He gives you insider advice that confirms the job is an excellent fit for your gifts and passions. This is likely more than just chance!
In the book of Acts, God used coincidences to direct the early church in major decisions. When the apostles sought guidance regarding appointing a replacement for Judas, the lot fell to Matthias (Acts 1:26). While they cast lots, it was God who providentially directed the outcome.
Later, in Acts 9, Ananias “just happened” to be told in a vision to go lay hands on Saul to restore his sight. This encounter was no accident but a divine appointment to launch Saul (Paul) into ministry.
When faced with decisions, bring them to God in prayer. Watch for uncanny coincidences by which He may reveal His direction.
Reminders God is at Work Behind the Scenes
Sometimes God may use coincidences as timely reminders of His presence and power when we need encouragement. Often, these are small details that show God is at work behind the scenes.
In 1 Kings 19, Elijah was fearful and felt alone in ministry. But God provided food and drink through ravens. Then when Elijah fled into the wilderness, an angel “just happened” to touch him and provide food to strengthen his journey (1 Kings 19:5-8). To Elijah, these provisions came as helpful surprises. But God orchestrated the timing and details.
Maybe you’ve been feeling down and doubting God’s care lately. But a card from a friend arrives in the mail with the exact words of hope you needed to hear. Or you find yourself short on funds, only to discover an old gift card you’d forgotten about. Don’t just dismiss these as coincidences – recognize God’s special reminders that He cares.
When you experience timely coincidences that lift your spirit, receive them as treasures from God. Thank Him for the reminder that He is near.
Divine Appointments to Reveal God’s Power
At key moments in Scripture, God orchestrated circumstances to intersect at just the right time and place. He demonstrates His power and glory through these improbable “coincidences.”
In the book of Ruth, Ruth “just happened” to glean in the field of Boaz, her future husband, revealing God’s gracious provision for her (Ruth 2:3). Esther also “just happened” to be positioned as queen when the Jews faced genocide, allowing her to advocate for their deliverance (Esther 4:14).
God also reveals His might through timely coincidences that accelerate the spread of the Gospel. In Acts 8, Philip was told to go to the Gaza desert. “Coincidentally,” the Ethiopian eunuch “just happened” to be traveling there so Philip could share the Gospel, and he believed (Acts 8:26-39).
Our sovereign God can orchestrate divine appointments to demonstrate His glory and goodness. We may be amazed by the uncanny timing, but these are no surprises to God. Watch for those exciting moments when God intersects your life with someone else at just the right time and place to reveal His power in a new way.
God’s Timing Is Always Perfect
Along with directing our steps, God uses timely coincidences to display His perfect timing and plan. Isaiah 55:8-9 says,
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Because God sees the full picture, He can coordinate details we could never predict or orchestrate on our own.
You may meet a new friend who “just happens” to mention a job opening that’s ideal for you. Or while running errands, you may feel prompted to visit a store you don’t normally shop at, only to have an Amazing conversation about faith with the clerk.
These are not coincidences to God but strategically timed moments. Trust that if God brings surprising opportunities across your path, it is by His purposeful design. Embrace His beautiful timing, even when it doesn’t make sense to you initially.
When you are amazed by the incredible timing of an event, thank God for His perfect orchestration. Though confusing to us, His ways are higher.
Not All Coincidences Have Deep Meaning
With all these examples, it’s important not to assume every coincidence has some deeper spiritual significance. Ecclesiastes 11:6 says,
“Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.”
Our sovereign God has both grand plans and simple routines for our lives. Not every surprise is an epic divine appointment. Look for patterns over time rather than placing too much weight on single events.
When you cross paths with an old friend at the store, it may just be a nice chance to catch up, not a message from God. Don’t feel pressure to ascribe deep meaning to every little coincidence. Instead, ask the Holy Spirit to give you discernment regarding when God desires to use an occurrence to gain your attention or communicate something specific.
Hold everyday coincidences lightly. Ask God for wisdom to discern when they have deeper purpose versus just being part of life’s routine.
Thank God for the Coincidences
Since God uses timely details for our good, coincidences are opportunities to thank Him. Even when their purpose is unclear, it’s appropriate to praise God for orchestrating the events of our lives.
In Colossians 3:17, Paul instructs:
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Thanking God is the right response, whether or not a coincidence seems like an obvious message from Him. Express gratitude that He cares about the intricate details of your days. This honors Him as Lord over everything.
Consider keeping a “divine coincidence” journal. Jot down unexpected events God weaves into your story and take time to thank Him in prayer. You’ll begin noticing patterns of how God reminds you of His presence. Recording His work also builds your faith when you reflect on how He has guided your path over time.
Make thanking God your response after notable coincidences, whether their purpose is clear or still a mystery to you.
As we’ve explored, the Bible encourages us to approach coincidences as more than just chance happenings. While their meaning isn’t always obvious, we can trust God to use timely details for our good. Coincidences present opportunities to see God’s hand at work to direct, encourage, reveal His power, and display His impeccable timing.
Not every coincidence bears deep reflection, however. Ask God for discernment to know when they are “divine appointments” versus just mundane happenings. Regardless of the circumstance, remember to thank God for His sovereignty over all of life’s details. As you gain this perspective from Scripture, you’ll begin to see coincidences as blessings rather than just lucky aberrations.
The next time you experience an improbable intersection of events, look for God’s purpose in it. Avoid the temptation to dismiss it as mere chance. Instead, ask the Holy Spirit, “Lord, how are you at work here? Help me understand so I can join you.” He delights to teach us through the circumstances of our lives. As you continually depend on the Spirit’s insight, your eyes will be opened to recognize the hand of God’s providence guiding you every step of the way.