Q: Why doesn’t God let me win the lottery? It sure would solve my family’s financial problems, but so far I’ve won very little and I’m actually in the hole for the year. — M.H.
A: Frankly, if you write me a year from now I suspect you’ll say almost exactly the same thing; statistically, very few people ever win the lottery the way you hope you will.
Gambling of any kind is not encouraged by the Bible — and one reason, I believe, is because gambling is almost always driven by greed. Instead of being disciplined and wise with our money, we gamble some of it away, hoping we’ll end up getting more — without actually working for it. But instead, we become like the people the prophet Haggai wrote about: “You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it” (Haggai 1:6).
Perhaps God hasn’t let you win because he knows this isn’t how you need to overcome your financial problems. Instead, he wants you to use your money wisely. Make a realistic budget — and stick to it. If you need help, ask him to guide you to someone you can trust who understands financial matters. (Your pastor may be able to suggest someone.)
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Don’t trust some “get rich quick” scheme to solve your financial problems. Wouldn’t you be better off if you’d saved the money you’ve gambled away and applied it instead to your debts? The Bible wisely says, “Whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow” (Proverbs 13:11).
The most important thing you can do, however, is to put your life into Christ’s hands and trust him with your future — including your finances. God loves you, and even in hard times his love never fails.
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.