Sunday, February 13, 2011

Everything Happens For A Reason? Or does it?

We all hear this expression often. "Everything happens for a reason." No, it really doesn't; not in the way most people mean it. This is not Bible teaching; this is man's reasoning. But when you really think about it, it isn't reasonable.

Before looking at what the Bible says, let's consider a case: A man is tired, but wants to take a walk along a cliff. He knows that this is dangerous and especially so since he is very tired and a bit wobbly today. Still, he decides that he will take the chance. He walks the walk, stumbles on a loose rock and falls to his death. Should we say, "well, everything happens for a reason?" If we mean, as most people do, that this is God's plan or is in some higher scheme, it was "meant to be," we are missing the point. The reason for this death is that the man made a poor choice, and the laws of nature (gravity, etc) took over.

Now here is what the Bible tells us: In Ecclesiastes 9:11, the wise man Solomon, with God's guiding hand, tells us, "The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all. For man also does not know his time; like fish taken in a cruel net, like birds caught in a snare, so the sons of men are snared in an evil time, when it falls suddenly upon them." Thus we learn that things happen, evil happens. And it isn't always God making things happen. We learn here that sometimes we are "just in the wrong place at the wrong time." For example, a tornado hits a neighborhood; 10 people are killed. Are they all bad, are they all good? Did God do this? The Bible tells us that this is not the case. Jesus Himself said in Matthew 5:45, the Father "makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust."

But we must also know that God can and does direct our lives. He does get involved; otherwise, there would be no teaching on the value and importance of prayer. We see all through the Bible that God does care...and He takes action when it is His will to do so. But let's not take the position that everything happens because God wants it to; that isn't so. Sometimes things happen because of other factors, like poor choices, or sometimes it is the work of the devil; like a murder, or a DUI driver hits a car and kills innocent people.

Finally, to end on an up note, let's remember that God loves us, loved us so much that He sent His only Son to die for us (Jn 3:16), and He tells us in Romans 8:28, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God...."

Thanks for reading. You are important! See you next week.


  1. Mike, I found you in a Google search when I typed in "Is everything happens for a reason biblical"? My position has been that it isn't, so I was glad to see and read your post. Good writing!

  2. Thanks for you thoughts on this topic. I hear it said often. Sometimes for the sake of comforting people. However, I don't think that's a good idea. I believe it paints the wrong picture of God. Thanks again for sharing.

  3. Ecclesiastes 3:1 To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

  4. Great article Mike. This highly used quote has bothered me for a long time, knowing it wasn't completely accurate, but a man-made attempt to console the soul in hopes of explaining away when bad things happen, especially to "good" people. Thank you.

  5. Thank you! I hate that cop-out statement. Sure, things happen for a reason, but it might be a BAD reason, not God's doing at all.

  6. I used to believe this statement. Then my husband was killed in a head on collision in December of 2013. Now, it just grates on my last nerve when people say to me "everything happens for a reason." Well, God gave us free will, and we are not puppets in the grand scheme of things.