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When You Feel the Odds Are Stacked Against You

Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.


It is really sad that some people live their lives thinking the odds are against them. They think people are out to get them and seek to make their lives miserable. That might not be the case at all. When people think the odds are against them, they live looking over their shoulder and fearing that something is going to happen to harm them.

What Are Odds?

The word "odd" is commonly used in gambling and statistics. The odds for or against something is the likelihood that something will happen as expected.

In most cases, the chance of something happening is also the chance that it will not happen. Positive people think the odds are for them and in their favor while negative people think the odds are against them.

When the odds are against something, the probability that something will not happen is greater than the probability that it will happen. A gambler knows that the "odds against" something means that the amount he will win is less than the amount he wants to win.

God Doesn't Gamble with Odds

If you are a disciple of Christ, the odds are never stacked against you even though you might feel like it from time to time. God does not deal with odds in any form or fashion because He is not a gambler. You are the one who categorizes something as being the odds.

God's attributes are compassion, grace, mercy, and favor. That means it is not God's nature to treat people as if any odds are stacked against them. God created us in His own image. If the odds are stacked against us, then they are also stacked against God. And we know that's not the case.

Abraham, Father of Many Nations

Abraham, Father of Many Nations

Biblical Examples

Some people in the Bible went through difficult situations. We must admit Abraham struggled with many hardships and challenges, but he never said the odds were stacked against him. He was old, his own body was dead, and his wife was old and barren (Genesis 17:17).

Abraham believed in hope and not odds. God saw that Abraham was faithful and he became the Father of Many Nations even before he had any descendants.


Also, there was another person in the Old Testament who had every reason to say the odds were stacked against him. Joseph's story is in Genesis 37-50. He was a 17-year-old boy when he was betrayed by his brothers. They put him in a pit before selling him into slavery. Joseph lived in slavery in Egypt until he was 30 years old.

Even though Joseph was in slavery for 13 years, he never said the odds were against him. He was falsely accused and put in a dungeon. It was there that he used his gift as a dreamer to get out of prison. Pharaoh made him second in command of all Egypt.

When the brothers needed grain, they went to Egypt and discovered Joseph was still alive and was in charge of either giving them grain or refusing to do so. They thought Joseph would take revenge and kill them for what they had done to him. Joseph said, "But as for you, you meant it for evil, but God meant it for good" (Genesis 50:20).

What to Do About the Odds You Think You Have

If you have been dealing in odds all your life, it will definitely be hard to change your mind, but it is not impossible. Here are some guidelines to help you begin to think about odds in different ways.

1. Stop saying the phrase. The first thing to do is to stop saying the odds are against you. Words have power. Solomon, the wisest man who lived during his day, said, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue" (Proverbs 18:21). If you keep speaking something, it might happen whether it is good or bad. Therefore, you should speak only positive things.

2. Change your attitude about what's happening to you. You might not be able to change what's happening to you, but you can surely change your attitude about the situation. There is almost no circumstance that cannot be turned around. See the silver lining in any event.

3. Your feeling is temporary. Nothing is permanent. As Luke repeated in his gospel, "It came to pass." Look forward to exciting changes that will come about during your transition.

4. Don't focus only on what is happening outwardly. There might be more going on with you on the outside than you can see. Dig deep to evaluate what is going on within.

5. Be patient and expect great things. Wait on the great things that will eventually come. Embrace the beautiful little things that will happen along the way as you wait for the bigger things to happen.

6. What you are going through is just training for your next big assignment. Know that God is preparing you for a higher level. However, you must stop thinking the odds are stacked against you.

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