You find yourself in hardship: out of work, business is bad, you owe for the rent, you owe for the rusty old car, you owe for utilities, etc.
Then you come across what might be called an unexpected blessing. All of a sudden, or so it seems, you get money, you get a new job, you can now pay your bills, maybe you can even get a new car or a Big Fancy House. But most of all, you are now ecstatic at your sudden good fortune.
You share this incredible story, usually in front of a group of people, perhaps at an event where your testimony is invited. Or you share it on the internet. So you tell the story and ...
you never quite say how you received your drastic change of financial health or material wealth. You Hand Wave this Contrived Coincidence as a gift from an unseen or even divine force. You attribute your new-found happiness to Good Fortune from God. Below is an illustration of it in Real Life, as it is source of many examples of this.
The key is that one is given an unexpected blessing, usually a sudden windfall of money or property, of which 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 the "blessing" was given is never explicitly stated, literally or metaphorically. This is a subtrope of Deus ex Machina, which is credited for the material gain.
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.
Therefore, a reader or a listener is not certain if the windfall was literally given by such a divine being or 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.
- Supplementary materials to Attack on Titan 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.
- In The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc, Jeanne (AKA Joan of Arc) claims the sword she found in a field was a gift from God. Later, when she's in prison, her conscience reminds her that there are many mundane ways a sword could have gotten in that field.
- Moist von Lipwig invokes this in Going Postal. After Reacher Gilt has the Post Office burned down, Moist fakes a divine message arriving into his head, 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.
- 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 mindYou'll believe everything I'm sayingIf you wanna get closer to himGet on your knees and start paying
- 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.
- In Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, the followers of Lyria tend to share this view. Particularly notable in the town of Tirin's Rest, which turns away starving refugees because they obviously deserve their fate.
- The Viper Clan in Goblins 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.
- In 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. Nintey 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.
- 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.
- The terms "Charism" and "Charisma" are essentially this.
- 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, and theological debates such as whether Christ owned his own clothes were very, very Serious Business.cf. Many of these ideas influenced the Protestant Reformation.
- This was a very common belief in Protestant Europe in past centuries: that the wealthy were chosen by God to be wealthy, and the poor were made poor by God (as opposed to society/economy). 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.
- This is still a common belief. See things like Prosperity Theology. In the United States, the Trope Codifiers can be seen preaching inside megachurches or on some Sunday morning religious programs.
- Similarly, historically high-caste Hindus taught that their wealth and status was the result of good karma, with the lower castes having the opposite (some still think this). Buddhists have also sometimes claimed this.
- 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.
- An infamous remark by Ramzan Kadyrov, president of the Russian autonomous republic of Chechnya. He claimed that "Allah gives us money to develop the republic", while it's common knowledge that the money comes from the Russian budget to ensure Chechnya's loyalty to the federal center.