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Good Fortune from God

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"Thanks for all your prayers. A prayer partner prayed with me concerning my rent. It was behind because I've recently been out of work. After the prayer of agreement the Lord blessed me with money to pay my rent and my mother's rent. Then the Lord blessed me with a 1-year lease even though I don't currently have any income. God is so good! There's more. The Lord blessed me with another lump sum of money and with that money I was able to get my car back that had been repossessed. Now I can get back out there and look for employment."

The belief that God or some other deity provides wealth to humans. When one is given an unexpected blessing, usually a sudden windfall of money or property, how it was received is left unexplained. In not revealing the actual source, credit is given to faith in a deity, a divine being, or some other higher power. How it was given is never explicitly stated, literally or metaphorically. The being or power is considered to be the source of unexpected prosperity. In case there is any doubt about God-Given good grace being indeed God-given, proponents may cite scripture to make their point.

Beliefs in Good Fortune from God are ancient in origin and have been featured in fictional works. Because the source of the fortune remains a mystery, the self-described recipient may really be a Mock Millionaire, even if Conspicuous Consumption is part of the testimony. Whether by quoting words or showing off, the idea is to make a show without revealing the source of the new-found wealth.

Good Fortune from God, as seen typically in Real Life, occurs with or without a deity. The higher power can be vague (as in the "name it, claim it" advice given in self-help works) or very specific (God or Jesus in churches that follow the Prosperity Theology movement) . In the latter, it can be a tool for Easy Evangelism, and such a notion has been criticized for treating divinity like a Benevolent Genie and often being promoted by Greedy Televangelists.

Therefore, a reader or a listener is not certain if the windfall was literally given by such a divine being, or if in fact could have been something truly unexpected, say, finding an envelope of cash on the ground. However, giving credit to an unseen power can have much impact emotionally.

While no deaths are reported, this is similar for its non-explanation to Unexplained Recovery.

This is a subtrope of Deus ex Machina, which is credited for the material gain. Also compare with Religion is Magic and Logical Fallacies.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Attack on Titan: Supplementary materials reveal that the Wall Around The World was apparently conveniently there when humanity was fleeing the Titans; people privy to conspiracy secrets jumped on this and called it a gift from god.
  • Kaguya-sama: Love Is War: Played for Laughs in the spin-off, We Want to Talk About Kaguya. Karen is a rabid Shirogane/Kaguya shipper, so she claims that things such as seeing Kaguya and Shirogane riding on a bike together or sharing an umbrella are a gift from the heavens.
    Karen: There is a god. He preaches the President x Kaguya-sama gospel...

    Films - Live Action 

  • Going Postal: Moist von Lipwig invokes this. After Reacher Gilt has the Post Office burned down, Moist fakes receiving a divine vision, runs off with a spade, and returns with an enormous pile of money (all of the money he'd stolen and stashed away before being caught). This being Ankh-Morpork, he is soon confronted by just about every priest in the city who claims that their god requires an expensive sacrifice as thanks for the windfall (he eventually settles on the minor goddess Anoia, catapulting her to major prominence due to the way the gods work), while the savvier people note how convenient it is that the gods provided Moist with currently-accepted coins.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Gotham: When Maroni survives a staged hit job from a rival family he comments "Won't you believe it? You both jammed! If that ain't a sign from God I don't know what is!" He then proceeds to start a war with his rival Don Falcone. In reality both of the guns used in the "hit" had been disabled by Penguin and were never intended to go off in the first place.

  • While not strictly this trope, Gene Simmons very much illustrated how it is expressed:
    God gives you a wallet, and you can have less money or more, what would you pick?
  • In the Genesis song "Jesus He Loves Me," there is illustration of what often gives rise to this trope, and it's not always in the religious sense:
    There'll be no doubt in your mind
    You'll believe everything I'm saying
    If you wanna get closer to him
    Get on your knees and start paying

    Non Fiction Literature 
  • The Secret is perhaps the best-known non-theistic example, given its Daydream Believer approach toward seeking what is desired.
  • One of the first times this was identified as a trope was in an interview with Jonathan Walton, UC Riverside professor of religious studies. In the December 2009 issue of The Atlantic, he was quoted in Hannah Rosin's article "Did Christianity Cause the Crash?"
    In 2004, Walton was researching a book about black televangelists. :I would hear consistent testimonies about how 'once I was renting and now God let me own my own home,' or 'I was afraid of the loan officer, but God directed him to ignore my bad credit and blessed me with my first home,'" he says. "This trope was so common in these churches that I just became immune to it. Only later did I connect it to this disaster."
  • Rich Dad, Poor Dad has a twist to this trope: the source of Bob Kiyosaki's wealth advice is never positively identified.
  • The 15th Century occult text The Book of Abramelin states that a successful practitioner of the sacred magic in service to God may eventually request of his guardian angel a monetary gift from the "Hidden Treasures." While magic could be abused to make you wealthy and powerful, a humble mage could instead request this more modest (but still quite substantial) gift as a sort of grant from God to allow him to continue to do the Lord's work in the world. The narrator had to arrange a wealthy marriage just to hide his sudden wealth with the dowry. More broadly, a holy and faithful practice of the sacred magic will grant all kinds of good fortune to the mage, or allow him to make his own, as the book's teachings paint God as very generous to practitioners of magic who don't get lost in pride and greed.

    Video Games 
  • Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning: The followers of Lyria tend to believe that, since everything is fated, anything good or bad is the direct will of the gods and you deserve it. Particularly notable in the town of Tirin's Rest, which turns away starving refugees because they obviously deserve their fate.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: This is a plot point in the Thieves' Guild storyline. It turns out that the reason the Thieves Guild has been failing is due to them upsetting Nocturnal, Daedric Prince of Night and Darkness, who has cursed the guild with bad luck due to guildmaster Mercer Frey stealing her artifact, the Skeleton Key. By the end of the plotline, things are resolved and Nocturnal has blessed the guild with luck.

    Web Comics 
  • Goblins: The Viper Clan consists of goblin supremacists who believe that they are divinely ordained to rule over all goblins, and eventually all other races, and take the fact that they are one of the most powerful clans as proof that they are the chosen ones of Maglubiyet, the goblin deity. Dies Horribly turns this logic against them by arguing that if they're only successful because Maglubiyet favors them, they can't take credit for, or pride in anything they do.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: The first After the End Encyclopedia Exposita page has Iceland, the largest and safest bastion of survivors, calling its people "protected by the gods". The Just Before the End prologue showed it had more to do with finding an excuse for closing its borders to keep The Plague from spreading despite a standing Apocalyptic Gag Order, and later gunning down refugee boats. Ninety years later, they have an under 10% rate of The Immune people in their large population to show for it, versus the 48% of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark taken together.

    Western Animation 
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Parodied and Lampshaded to hell and back in "Gee Wiz." When Meatwad believes he is pregnant through, um, divine intervention, the gang throws him a baby shower. Carl, naturally, is skeptical and readily tells them so:
    Carl: Look, your baby wants a car, make him yank out a freakin' Lamborghini out of midair!
    Meatwad: I'm afraid that would be a vulgar display of his power.
  • The Simpsons: Homer gets a (one-episode) boost on his faith when he discovers that every time he prays, his luck changes for the better. This makes him win bets, find lost pennies, get discounts and late in the episode get Springfield Church as settlement for accidentally falling on a hole in its terrain that he was convinced by an Ambulance Chaser to sue for.
  • Teen Titans Go!: In "Multiple Trick Pony," Robin convinces himself that this is how he can beat Kid Flash at running.

    Real Life 
  • In the medieval era, the monks of the Catholic Church claimed this as the reason why they went from the poverty and persecution of Christ to an exorbitantly wealthy and prosperous entrenched power system. Some factions, like the Franciscans and the Beghards, accused the church of impiety, decadence, and not following Christ's example. Many of these ideas influenced the Protestant Reformation.
  • In Protestant Europe, it was believed that the wealthy were chosen by God to be wealthy, and the poor were made poor by God. The belief that wealth was the sign of God's favor led to the "Protestant work ethic" and the Western value placed on money solely for money's sake, as opposed to what it can buy. This was a core building block founding modern capitalist ideology.
  • Similarly, historically high-caste Hindus taught that their wealth and status was the result of good karma, with the lower castes having the opposite.
  • A remark by Ramzan Kadyrov, president of the Russian autonomous republic of Chechnya. He claimed that "Allah gives us money to develop the republic", while the money actully comes from the Russian budget to ensure Chechnya's loyalty to the federal center.
  • The Prosperity Gospel is a theologically conservative movement frequently associated with Pentecostalism, evangelicalism, and charismatic Christianity that emphasizes believers' abilities to transcend poverty and/or illness through devotion and positive confession. Adherents believe faith - and hefty donations to your church - will bring wealth as well as health and happiness to one's life.
  • In Thailand, there is an emerging Buddhist movement known as Dhammakaya, which is similar to the Prosperity Gospel in using meditation to increase material gain.