As I have grown to understand God’s providence, His sovereignty over the course of history, down to the minutest detail, I have felt the need to adjust some of my vocabulary. This is reflected in a great shirt from New Fire Paradise that says “Deo Non Fortuna”
Often, when we desire to wish someone well, we tell them “Good luck!” But where does luck finds itself in a Biblical worldview? It doesn’t. History is not goverened by the blind hand of the Roman goddess Fortuna. Neither is it influenced by the younger, hipper Lady Luck, ruling from her roost in the Bellagio.
An appropriate replacement of “Good luck!” might be “Providential blessings!”
But what about: “I was driving home yesterday and I ran out of gas. Fortunately I was close enough to a gas station that I rolled in just as my car died.” ? That’s easy: “By God’s grace, I reached the gas station just in time!”
However, one of the sayings I use the most is “Unfortunately I can’t make it tonight. I’ve got other plans.” I tried to find an equivalent phrase that reflects God’s providence, rather than some idea of fortune, but I couldn’t. That’s when I was reminded of A. W. Pink’s words:
Truly, then, God governs inanimate matter. Earth and air, fire and water, hail and snow, stormy winds and angry seas, all perform the word of His power and fulfill His Sovereign pleasure. Therefore, when we complain about the weather we are, in reality, murmuring against God.
There is no Biblical equivalent of “Unfortuante” because nothing that God decrees is “2 a: infelicitous , unsuitable b: deplorable , regrettable”
So consider God’s sovereignty next time you are tempted to call something unfortunate.