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When People say, “Everything happens for a reason,” How Do I Respond Biblically?

Updated: Nov 27, 2022

Video from Ligonier Ministries

"Sometimes we hear people say, “Everything happens for a reason.” How should we respond in a biblical way? From one of our Ask Ligonier events, Sinclair Ferguson provides insight. To get real-time answers to your biblical and theological questions." from video introduction.

The article excerpt below describes how the secular unbelieving world looks at life's circumstances.

"The saying that everything happens for a reason is the modern, New Age version of the old religious saying: “It’s God’s will.” The two sayings have the same problem—the complete lack of evidence that they’re true. Not only is there no good evidence that God exists, we have no way of knowing what it is that he (or she) wanted to happen, other than that it actually did happen. Did God really will that hundreds of thousands of people die in an earthquake in one of the world’s poorest countries? What could be the reason for this disaster and the ongoing suffering of millions of people deprived of food, water, and shelter? Why do people find it reassuring that the Haiti earthquake happened for a reason such as the will of God, when such terrible events suggest a high degree of malevolence in the universe or its alleged creator? Fortunately, such events can alternatively (and with good evidence) be viewed as the result of accidents, and possibly even of chance." from the article: Does Everything Happen for a Reason?

The popular phrase “everything happens for a reason,” is actually not found in the Bible. The verse that people refer to is found in Romans.

“And 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).

What the Bible teaches is that as believers we have peace and confidence knowing that because we love God and are called according to His purposes in our lives and in the world, God will work ALL things together for our good.

We will face unexpected battles, and much of life is out of our control. The comfort we have is in knowing that The Person of the Holy Spirit and Christ is working in our lives and will make good out of every situation because we love Him and follow Him.

"Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand." (Proverbs 19:21)

“I know that you can do all things, no purpose of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2).


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