Everything happens for a reason. God has a purpose.
This sounds great, but I don’t know how comforting it is to those who have just lost everything. It just feels so trite.
We yearn to know that our suffering is not in vain. We crave purpose in our trials. From that we gain strength. Hope solidifies. We cling to this belief because … well, we can’t stand the alternative. How horrible to think that all this — innocents slaughtered, homes destroyed, lives turned upside down — all this is entirely out of control? It’s not. But that doesn’t mean God causes it.
God is sovereign. I don’t dispute His reign; Psalm 103:19 says God’s “sovereignty rules over all.” Matthew 10:29 assures us that “not a sparrow falls without the Father knowing it.” He is God and He is bigger.
Whenever tragedy strikes, we try to base our faith in logic. We justify crisis by wrapping it in a philosophy that includes intention and claims accidents never happen. But they do happen! We live in a fallen world that is cursed and filled with imperfect people. This truth does not diminish God’s sovereignty. Rather it highlights His supremacy and grace.
Yes, this world is rotten and it’s filled with rotten people (myself included) and rotten things happen. But God is bigger and He can turn all this garbage into something amazing. Nothing goes to waste in the hands of God.
Some claim that His sovereignty indicates intentional orchestration, that God ordains everything, right down to the color of shirt I wore today and the moment I slipped on ice last January. I don’t think so. He cannot cause us to sin; that would contradict His righteousness, and yet we all sin all the time. He wishes that none would perish, and yet millions of people daily choose to deny Him, thus perishing. God hurts when we hurt, so why would He purposefully cause pain to us and, by extension, to Himself? It’s illogical and inconsistent with His nature.
Does He then orchestrate anything? Of course! He is a personal God who is personally involved in our lives, but not everything is His doing. Some is ours. Some is that of the Evil One. Some events happen simply because we are fragile people living in a cursed world. God can bring beauty from ashes, but that doesn’t mean He burns down the house to do it.
And that’s the most beautiful part: God can redeem any situation for His glory and our good. Any situation! We may never know the reason or purpose behind certain events or catalysts in our lives. What we do know is that God graciously allows us to grow and learn through all of it.
He is God.
He is good.
He is bigger.
He is better.
And He loves us fiercely.
Does everything happen for a reason? I don’t know … but God can bring reason to anything.
Your Turn: If you’d like to help the victims in Oklahoma, follow THIS LINK for a list of respectable organizations already on the ground and serving those in need.
If you’re in OK and reading this now, please know that we stand with you and are praying for you and your communities. If you have specific or direct needs that we may address, please let us know!