What Are the Odds?


The science of statistics is an area of study that focuses upon the likelihood of certain events and the frequency of certain events. It is a useful area of study, especially for such things as risk assessment or sociology. However, in terms of ratios of odds, many people are not fully appreciative of what certain odds mean.



Take for instance the incredible odds involved with most lotteries. While there does always exist a “chance” of winning, many times the chance of being struck repeatedly by lightning is greater. Gambling makes its money primarily off of people first not understanding odds, and then people refusing to stop when they temporarily manage to “beat” those odds.

Coin flips

Even simpler odds can be difficult to imagine. Consider for example if someone flipped a coin 499 times in a row and every time the coin came up “heads”. What would be the odds of “heads” showing again a 500^th^ time? The trick is in how the question is phrased. No matter how many times the coin was flipped previously, the next time it is flipped, the odds are still 1 in 2!

Anything is Possible With God

So if people are willing to accept the unlikely, and to misunderstand the actually probable, why do people have such difficulty in trusting in God? Consider for a moment the “odds” that a particular event would transpire because of God’s Will. The calculation is easy, for with God, the odds are always 1 in 1. However, from man’s perspective, that certain events took place (kingdoms arose and fell, prophets foretelling very specific happenings, etc.) the odds of such things are infinitesimal in their likelihood, yet still happened. It must have been wild chance right? Wrong.

What are the odds that someone shared the truth of God once with you, or wants to share it with you if you have not heard it before? The odds are very good. Not because of happenstance or blind luck, but because of the Providence of God. Those in Christ are the most fortunate people in the world, not as the world counts “fortune”, but because we have a God who loves us.

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