Session 12

Coincidence? I think not.

From 1 Samuel: A 6-Week Devotional

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1 Samuel 9

Have you ever had something happen that you just couldn't quite explain? Something you chalked up to coincidence.

Maybe it’s how you met your spouse. You happened to be on the same flight. You thought you were being nice giving up your spot for someone who wanted an aisle seat. Instead, you were being repositioned so you could meet your spouse. Coincidence? I think not.

Every step we take has been carefully thought out and orchestrated by God.

On the surface, 1 Samuel 9 looks like a coincidence. At the beginning of the chapter, Saul is on a scavenger hunt looking for his father's lost donkeys. The search comes to a stalemate, so Saul sets out to get help finding the lost donkeys. His quest brings him to the prophet Samuel, who God had told that Saul would be coming and to anoint him as king over Israel. What seemed like a wild goose chase was part of God’s plan to put Saul where he needed to be to discover his next step. What looked like coincidence was providence.

Many times, what feels like aimlessly wandering through life, or chasing after donkeys, is God's repositioning us to experience the miraculous. God is always at work in our lives, just like He was in Saul’s. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

We can take heart in knowing that God has a plan for our lives and wants what is best for us. Nothing is by chance. Psalm 37:23 (KJV) says, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.” Every step we take has been carefully thought out and orchestrated by God. What we see as coincidence is really His providence.

Reflection:

  • Take a few minutes to look back on your life. Are there any instances you chalked up as coincidence but were actually God’s providence?
  • Often we miss God’s work in our lives because we’re looking for other things, like donkeys. What’s one step you can take to be more intentional with your day today?

12 of 41

Devotionals From This Study

to Discover More

Session 1

When hope seems unattainable

hope relationships

Hannah was loved by her husband, but her longing was for a child. Hannah kept seeing her prayer being fulfilled for others around her. Wh...

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Session 2

What if your kids aren’t really yours?

Tickle Me Elmo, Motorola StarTAC, and Super Nintendo were all must-have items at one point. When we got them, we thought we had everythin...

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Session 3

Miracles are more than moments

Most of us know of a miracle—a friend with breast cancer now cancer free; a quadruple bypass survivor walking 3 miles every day; or a bab...

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Session 4

But God, I don’t want to

A picture recently became popular on Facebook. In it, a little girl is holding a small teddy bear. She is standing across from Jesus, who...

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Session 5

Only God can judge me

How often have you responded to a friend’s rebuke with this phrase: “Only God can judge me”? If we knew what we were asking when we ask ...

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Session 6

How do I know if God’s calling me?

A singular penguin waddles purposefully through the colony. The thousands of seemingly identical birds are easily distinguishable to the ...

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Session 7

Ask this when fighting a losing battle

Few things are more demoralizing than fighting a losing battle. It’s emotionally exhausting, and for Christians it’s confusing. Romans 8:...

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Session 8

Kill your idol, before it kills you

Beauty. Health. Success. Money. Power. Love. We may not literally bow to a golden statue, like Dagon, but we put these idols in God’s pla...

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Session 9

Repentance is more than being sorry

When Jesus began His ministry, the first verb He put in front of His followers was “repent.”  Repentance isn’t just guilt or regret. We ...

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Session 10

How to walk forward in faith

Fear is a real emotion all of us feel from time to time. No one is perfectly brave at every moment of their lives. Fear can be particular...

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Session 11

Do you blend in?

Samuel was the judge of Israel who led the nation back into the direction of God. When Samuel was ready to retire, the nation demanded a ...

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Session 12

Coincidence? I think not.

Have you ever had something happen that you just couldn’t quite explain? Something you chalked up to coincidence. Maybe it’s how you met...

Read Devotional

Session 13

You can be forever changed

Change is a part of life. Some of us thrive when change happens. For others, change produces anxiety and stress. But no matter how we res...

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Session 14

When what god asks feels impossible

Being named king or queen of something sounds pretty enticing, doesn’t it? Perhaps images of fame and glory come to mind when we envision...

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Session 15

Not all anger is sinful

We’ve all been angry. We’ve seen injustice, felt pain when wronged, and wanted to pinch the head off of something. We’ve seen red faces, ...

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Session 16

It’s not too late to change

“I told you so” moments are no fun if you are on the receiving end. We see one of these moments in 1 Samuel when the Israelites come to t...

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Session 17

When impatience wins

The thing you want is so close you almost believe if you close your eyes and reach out, you can touch it. Or maybe, the thing your heart...

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Session 18

Who can you count on?

In all our relationships, we expect to be able to count on the other person. While we were growing up, we looked to our older siblings or...

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Session 19

Bite your tongue

Have you ever said something so stupid you wish life had a backspace option? Parents, have you threatened your children with an “or else...

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Session 20

“But God, what if I did this?”

Have you ever tried to negotiate a better way with God? When we rely on our human understanding, what He asks us to do often leaves us c...

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Session 21

No more excuses

Have you ever said “enough is enough” to someone who kept making excuses?  Samuel had a moment like that with Saul in Saul’s final days ...

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Session 22

You can’t unsee this

The Internet drama over “the dress” made people lose their minds. Some saw white and gold. Others saw black and blue. That viral sensatio...

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Session 23

I don’t want to be here anymore

“No, you can’t always get what you want. You can’t always get what you want. You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes...

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Session 24

The long road to an overnight success

David was not an “overnight success.” The unknown shepherd laid the groundwork for his victory against Goliath long before the epic showd...

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Session 25

Overcoming overwhelming obstacles

Did you know that you are the owner of a unique tool belt? It might not be an actual tool belt, but God has given each of us a unique set...

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Session 26

The danger of jealousy

At first glance, jealousy may not seem like a major sin in our daily lives. We may get a little jealous of people from time to time, but ...

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Session 27

Why do my motives even matter?

A young man helping an elderly lady cross the street because he wants to ensure her safety has an honorable motive. However, if this same...

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Session 28

When doing the right thing gets you in trouble

1 Samuel 19 tells of a guy with a serious lifestyle problem. Saul was jealous and not able to control his emotions—to the point of intend...

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Session 29

How to choose between competing loyalties

The problem with loyalty is everyone has their own definition of it. So, at some point we will find ourselves in that painful position wh...

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Session 30

How to have joy in hard times

Think back to some of the most stressful or scary moments in your life. How did you react? If you’re like most people, praising God proba...

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Session 31

I never thought I’d do that

One of our culture’s great weaknesses is not believing in pure evil. We want to think all people are generally good. We shake our heads i...

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Session 32

Is opportunity a sign of God’s approval?

Have you ever wanted something so much any opportunity to obtain it seemed like God answering your prayer? Maybe money has been tight, an...

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Session 33

When you want revenge

He is so finished! I’ll give her a piece of my mind! It’s okay, no one will ever know. This tweet will really get’em good.   Thoughts...

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Session 34

Have you ever forgotten to say thank you?

When we are in crisis mode it’s natural to look to those surrounding us for help. Thankfulness towards our rescuers comes easily during t...

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Session 35

When revenge kills

Have you ever been mistreated so badly you actually plotted revenge? In 1 Samuel 25, David found himself in this position. Nabal threw i...

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Session 36

How to prevent regret

Have you ever made a decision you regretted? Maybe it was last minute. Maybe it was a split-second decision. Maybe you experienced the co...

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Session 37

Between a rock and a hard place?

From working at a dead end job to kids that just won’t cooperate, we have all felt stuck. Being stuck is one of the most difficult places...

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Session 38

How to get your next big thing

High school. College. Marriage. Babies. Buying a house. The big promotion with a raise. What is your next big thing? Sometimes, we wonde...

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Session 39

What happens when your plans fall apart?

A plan is a set of actions designed to achieve a goal. While having a plan makes us feel accomplished, sometimes the best thing that can ...

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Session 40

Who to blame when things go wrong

When trouble comes in life, how do you react? Do you look for something or someone to blame? David’s men did. Their homes had been attack...

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Session 41

Disobedience always has consequences

Whether we are talking about stealing cookies from a cookie jar, shoving all the mess in your room under the bed, cheating on a college f...

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