dictionary meaning: do something or have or show qualities worthy of (reward or punishment)
I like to say, instead of deserving, you earn what you get. With your actions, your attitude, your skills practiced... you earn it... and depending on the actions, the attitude and the skills, you earn good or bad. It is a cause and effect relationship.
The fact that the dynamic is in the invisible realm doesn't mean it's not a cause and effect.
Sometimes, in a zero sum game, you get because your opponent deserved to lose... like the presidential elections. Hillary deserved to lose. Trump didn't deserve to become president. But in a zero sum game one's loss is your gain. Unearned, undeserved.