How many times have you heard someone say, “Everything happens for a reason”? People often say this when something bad has happened and they’re trying to make sense of it. A couple of weeks ago I was talking to a dear friend of mine who is going through a difficult divorce. She said she could see the good that had come out of a previous abusive marriage (her sons) and she could even see how she had grown through the soul-deep sadness of a miscarriage (stronger faith). But she couldn’t understand what God wanted her to learn from this failed marriage. She said, “I know everything happens for a reason, but I still can’t figure out the reason for this.”
Here’s truth: Not everything happens for a reason.
Why? Because by saying everything has reason, we’re suggesting that everything has a good twist. That even in terror, murder, abduction and abuse, God is behind it and He has purpose for it. It’s not true. Everything is NOT good and everything is NOT from God.
We live in a fallen world where sin and evil run rampant.
Bad people do bad things. Even to good people. Is God still in our midst? Yes. Does God still have sovereign power? Yes. But God has also given each person free will. With that will everyone decides either to align with God or go their own way to sow and reap what the world has to offer. Each person’s choices and actions impact the lives of those around them. Good or bad.
And our world is not what God intended. We no longer live in the Garden of Eden. Storms and earthquakes inflict devastation, and there is a whole spiritual realm we can’t see which intersects with life as we know it. For us, it’s unpredictable and scary. And if God is a good God and everything happens for a reason, it just doesn’t make sense.
No, it doesn’t make sense––because not everything happens for God’s reasons.
God is unchanging, faithful, loving, and just. He is our Father, Creator and Savior. He paved the way for our eternal salvation by sending His Son, Jesus, to the cross to receive our condemnation. He raised Jesus to life again, as He will do for us––on this earth (figuratively) and in heaven (literally). God has purpose for our lives. Here’s what God says:
“We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
God may create challenges in our life to grow us or move us in a new direction. But He is not behind every bad situation or crisis in our life or the lives of others. We have an enemy who prowls like a lion waiting to destroy its prey. Our enemy is the instigator of many bad things. The good news for us is that God is above our enemy.
God can and will invade every bad situation and TURN IT TO GOOD for those who love Him and walk with Him.
God may put us through trials, but not all trials are from God. Either way, when we call upon God and cling to Him, even in our darkest moments, we receive the power of the Holy Spirit to survive. We can rise above real life when we turn to God, praise Him in our circumstances, and stand on the Rock of hope.
Praising God in our circumstances, not for our circumstances, is how God’s light shines in dark places. Bringing God into our trials and trusting Him to see us through to the other side is how all things can be TURNED to good.
So next time someone says, “Everything happens for a reason,” pause and remember that not everything happens for a reason, because not everything is good. But all things can be turned to good by God. When we love Him and allow Him to sit on the throne of our heart, He will shepherd us through the valley of death to a garden of new life.
Let’s talk: How has God turned a bad situation to good in your life?
May I pray? Father God, we praise You today because YOU ARE GOOD! Thank You for never changing. Thank You for Your love which never fails. Helps us come to You and reveal our broken places, our anger for past hurts, our fears… Comfort us with Your truth as we walk forward with You. May our faith be strengthened knowing that You are not behind the evil in this world, but You are above it and You can turn it to good when we turn it over to You. May Your light shine through us into the darkness. Amen.