"For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed-a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: 'The righteous will live by faith.'" - Romans 1;17, NIV
"I don't believe in coincidences anymore!" Those were the words one of my seminary professors, Dr. Ben Johnson, said to me once. I can't remember exactly why he said it or what it was in reference to, but I do picture him saying it with a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye. I also remember him explaining that over time, he began to see the fingerprints of God at work in what he used to think were coincidences in his life. Now he believed that most of those "coincidences" were actually the handiwork of God. The only thing that changed over time was that now, with eyes of faith, he saw those coincidences differently.
Now I do not believe that God causes everything - that is not very sound theology. God alone is God, but the world is not some great computer program with all of the actions predetermined. God is working God's plans out, but there is certainly some degree of freedom in what happens, and in our response to what happens.
Recently I had conversation with a fellow Christian who shared with me some pretty amazing things that had happened in his life - things that he believed were directly related to God. I have to admit that even as a pastor, not many people actually talk that way very often to me. My natural tendency is to look for other more rational and plausible explanations for unusual events, rather than attributing them to God. But in listening to this person share what he believed happened in his life, I wonder if I might be missing something. In fact, I think it might be better to assume God is at work in my world, rather than assuming there is always some other explanation. Maybe that is part of what it means to "live by faith" - that we intentionally live each moment of each day looking for God. So, try it and "see."