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DOES EVERYTHING HAPPEN FOR A REASON?

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by vengaturreino, Dec 29, 2014.

  1. “Everything happens for a reason”. “God has a plan for everything; He is in control”. These are the kind of things that many well-intentioned people tend to say to a friend or family member when they are suffering or grieving. But are they true? Are these sayings actually Biblical?

    Many people seem to like to find a reason for everything, they like to have the answers to the “why” questions, such as: “Why did this happen to me?” and particularly: “Why did God allow this to happen to me?” Instead of reaching out to a friend who is suffering to offer wordless comfort and practical help, they sit down to try to make sense of things. In an effort to “comfort” a grieving friend, they try to help them understand why this terrible thing has happened to them. It saddens me to say it, but far too often in Christian circles, a grieving family member is told that “God has taken” their loved one, or that somehow all this was part of “His plan”. But is this how it should be explained?

    Is God in control of every detail of our lives? Many Christians believe that God plans and controls what happens in this world, which leads them to think that when things go wrong that it was somehow part of His plan. But it’s important to remember that since Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden, we no longer live in a perfect state under God’s guidance. However, when they ate the forbidden fruit Adam and Eve rebelled against God’s sovereignty and chose to live independently.

    When Jesus came to earth he was tempted three times by the devil, who finally invited him to “fall down and worship” him, promising: “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will.” (Luke 4:6).

    If this had not been true, Jesus, who is truth incarnate, would have replied that the devil couldn’t offer something that wasn’t his. However, He did not respond in that way, as He knew full well that: “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” (1 John 5:19b).

    If we decide to believe the Bible and accept that this world currently lies in the power of Satan, things start to make a lot more sense. When we watch the news and study history and learn of horrific massacres, child abuse and war, we understand that it isn’t God that causes these things, but Satan, the ruler of this word.

    Thankfully, this is not where the story ends. The Bible shows that God will not allow Satan to be “the god of this world” forever (2 Corinthians 4:4a). After Jesus’ return and after the battle of Armageddon[1], we read in Revelation 20:1-3 that Satan will be seized, bound and thrown into a pit for a thousand years.

    Some people believe that since Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection that the devil has been conquered. It is true that “The reason the Son of God appeared wasto destroy the works of the devil. (1 John 3:8) and that God “gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57) We have no doubt that Christ is stronger than the devil and that we don’t need to live in fear of Satan.

    However, the spiritual battle is not over. If the devil had been utterly defeated when Jesus died on the cross and rose again, we would not have to be concerned with putting on “the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand againstthe schemes of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11). Moreover, there would be no need for this warning in 1 Peter 5:8: “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”



    Part 2: Consoling others

    Often, we repeat things because we have heard others say them and because we think they sound comforting, but we haven’t actually stopped to consider the real impact of these words or if they are in the Bible or not. For example, many people say to those in pain: “God will not allow you to be tested beyond what you can endure”. Not only is this is an incorrect quotation of scripture, it can also be deeply hurtful for people to hear who are grieving and sincerely feel that what they’re going through IS more than they can endure. If we go back to Scripture we will see that the actual text in 1 Corinthians 10:13 reads: “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

    Falling into temptation and being “tested” are very different concepts. Regarding temptation, we read in James 1:13-15 that “When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their ownevil desire and enticed.Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin;and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” This has nothing to do with the experience of a person who is grieving after the loss of a loved one for example, or facing an incurable illness.

    In certain evangelical circles it’s common to hear people boasting: “I can do all thingsthrough him who strengthens me!!!”(Philippians 4:13) quoted out of context and with an unnecessary emphasis on the first part of the verse “I can do all things…” without emphasizing the rest of the verse with humility: “through him who strengthens me”.

    I think it’s important to read this text in context: “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be contentwhatever the circumstances.I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry,whether living in plenty or in want.I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”(Philippians 4:11-13) If we fail to read it in context, we create false expectations for ourselves and others, assuming that we can become a kind of “superhero” in Christ, capable of anything.

    Coming back to our main topic: those who are suffering have no desire to hear a theological explanation or “pep talk” to make them feel better. They want our company in their grief, to be able to count on us, our empathy and practical help. The Bible tells us to: “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:15) May God open our hearts to the suffering of others and enable us to cry with those who cry, just as Christ cried bitter tears at the tomb of his friend Lazarus who had died (John 11:35). When the others saw him, they cried out: “See how he loved him!”[2] Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we will be able to show others how much we love them and accompany them in their pain, which is more comforting than any word we could speak.


    [1] Rev 16:14, 16, Rev 19:11-21

    [2] John 11:36

    https://faithandencouragement.wordpress.com/2014/12/29/does-everything-happen-for-a-reason/
     
    Silk likes this.
  2. I think everybody who has been in grief knows that people mean well when offering condolences - whatever the words. Depending on the relationship of those one is grieving for has different impacts and for my own periods of grief - I have always recognized that what I am feeling is for myself because I know I will see them again - just not in this life. And as we are all mortal - we all are destined to die. Today I would say condolences - your household is in my prayers.
     
    vengaturreino likes this.
  3. Things happen according to God's plan.
     
    SprSkl and Major say Amen and like this.
  4. No real argument from me, good post. I would however like to say that we need to know that God does have a plan for all of our lives.

    Ephesians 1:11.............
    “God works all things after the counsel of his will, . . . ”

    Doesn't that mean that our lives, all of it, has been worked out according to the counsel of God’s will. This gets a little tricky when we start thinking about the sinful things we do. Is that part of God’s plan, too?

    The preceptive will of God is said to be his will for mankind. For example, he has told us not to lie or steal (Exodus 20:1-17). It is specific and direct. Yet, in his permissive will he allows us to do those things which are contrary to what he told us in his perceptive will. He wills to permit us to sin though his will is that we not sin.

    Is that confusing? It shouldn’t be.

    So, does God have a plan for our life? Yes, he does; and that plan includes our rebellion against him. God is not surprised by our sin, and he is certainly capable of working his will in your life even when you don’t do what he wants.

    Sometimes people will ask if God has a specific will for them regarding things like who they will marry, what job they are supposed to have, and where they will live. Answering this isn’t easy because God wants us to prayerfully depend on his guidance and also make decisions based upon what he reveals to us in Scripture. We pray and ask for direction, then we pick one and go--hoping it is within the will of God.

    So does God have a plan for our lives? Yes. It is revealed in Scripture that he wants you to bring glory to him .

    Isaiah 43:7........
    " everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”

    Not sin (acts 17:30), and trust in Jesus (John 3:16) so that you can be saved in your sins. As far as an absolute perfect plan in your life, well, the more you submit to God as revealed in Scripture, the more perfectly you’ll fit into his holy plan for your life.

    Thoughts?????
     
    Rezz, Silk and Big Moose says Amen and like this.
  5. No real argument from me, good post. I would however like to say that we need to know that God does have a plan for all of our lives.

    Ephesians 1:11.............
    “God works all things after the counsel of his will, . . . ”

    Doesn't that mean that our lives, all of it, has been worked out according to the counsel of God’s will. This gets a little tricky when we start thinking about the sinful things we do. Is that part of God’s plan, too?
    The preceptive will of God is said to be his will for mankind. For example, he has told us not to lie or steal (Exodus 20:1-17). It is specific and direct. Yet, in his permissive will he allows us to do those things which are contrary to what he told us in his perceptive will. He wills to permit us to sin though his will is that we not sin.
    Is that confusing? It shouldn’t be.
    So, does God have a plan for our life? Yes, he does; and that plan includes our rebellion against him. God is not surprised by our sin, and he is certainly capable of working his will in your life even when you don’t do what he wants.
    Sometimes people will ask if God has a specific will for them regarding things like who they will marry, what job they are supposed to have, and where they will live. Answering this isn’t easy because God wants us to prayerfully depend on his guidance and also make decisions based upon what he reveals to us in Scripture. We pray and ask for direction, then we pick one and go--hoping it is within the will of God.
    So does God have a plan for our lives? Yes. It is revealed in Scripture that he wants you to bring glory to him .

    Isaiah 43:7........
    "everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”

    Not sin (acts 17:30), and trust in Jesus (John 3:16) so that you can be saved in your sins. As far as an absolute perfect plan in your life, well, the more you submit to God as revealed in Scripture, the more perfectly you’ll fit into his holy plan for your life.
     
  6. As Major said, not much of arguments.. I would only add one more thing.. Devil might be the ruler of this world.. But Bible also says, He is who is in us is greater than he who is in this world. That is the promise we should stand upon.

    Joseph's life is a great example right. His brothers intended only evil. But God used that for getting His plan accomplished. John the Baptist warns Pharisees. He says God is able to raise up children of Abraham from stones. God is too mighty and awesome for us to fully understand.

    That's why I would not be bothered if someone consoles by saying God is in control. Because they are right in telling so. God is always in control.

    But you are spot on in your last paragraph! More than trying to find some words to console, it is more important to being there. I learned this from Pastor. He is very experienced. I come from India and have been in US only for some 7 years. Previously I always used to skip funerals. Because I was always afraid of what I would speak and how I would console someone who had lost a person. My pastor always says this - a person grieving will probably not remember the words we speak at that moment after some time. But they will always remember the fact that we were there. Once I realized, now I make sure I go. Even now I am extremely bad in speaking. So I don't speak much. But being there shows it all.
     
    Silk likes this.
  7. Well said, Major. I am knocking on my desk in approval. <rap> <rap> <rap> <rap>
     
    Major likes this.
  8. This is how I look at it, and it is very simple. I'm in the driver's seat, God is next to me with identicle controls. He is looking at me saying, "I am here to help you, just ask." God doesn't want puppets but he does want to be included in our lives.
     
    Major likes this.
  9. Luke 10:31 (KJV)
    And by chance there came ...
     

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