Why Christians Should Stop Saying, “Everything Happens For A Reason.”

I can’t begin to explain how many times I’ve heard the phrase, “Everything happens for a reason” growing up, especially while surrounded by many people who would consider themselves Christians or people of faith. And while I understand that this statement is mostly used to help comfort and console people who are in times of turmoil and uncertainty, I’ve had a hard time wrapping my head around the validity of its meaning.

I come from a place where I believe that not everything in life happens for a reason, but that everything that does happen can ultimately be redeemed and used by God for a purpose (Romans 8:28). These two things are quite different if you begin to unpack their meaning and understanding.

We live in a fallen world, a world full of sinful people, people who are in need of the grace of Jesus. With this being said, we have to understand that there are things in this world that are going to take place that aren’t of God, his character, or his doing. He may have allowed them to happen, but he didn’t forcefully direct them. Many might disagree with my last statement depending on their theology, but I hold true to my belief that God does not have his hand in sin, darkness or anything contrary to that of good as it states in 1 John 1:5, 2 Corinthians 5:12, and 1 John 3:5.

When someone uses the phrase, “Everything happens for a reason”, what they could be saying to somebody is the following:

  1. “Your father died of Cancer for a reason.”
  2. “Your son got hit by a drunk driver for a reason.”
  3. “Your child was stillborn for a reason.”
  4. “You were abused as a child for a reason.”
  5. “You were raped or sexually assaulted for a reason.”
  6. “You are struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts for a reason.”
  7. “Your spouse cheated on you for a reason.”
  8. “Your friend was murdered for a reason.”
  9. “Your house caught on fire for a reason.”
  10. “Your friend committed suicide for a reason.”

And so on…

That’s who He is.

When you begin to really look at some of these statements for what they are, the phrase, “Everything happens for a reason” seems to make a lot less sense and sound a lot more misleading. But what doesn’t change when looking at these phrases is the fact that God can bring redemption to each of them, use them for a purpose, and allow the testimonies that come out of them help further his kingdom. That’s who he is. That’s what he does.

We have to be careful when using lofty statements and responses that sound good for the moment, but can actually be harmful in the longrun—especially as it pertains to one’s views on God and his hand in their life. If one really believes that everything happens for a reason, then one has to also ask themselves whether or not they believe God would have his hand in circumstances and actions contrary to that of his Word and character.

—Jarrid Wilson

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below.



Published by Jarrid Wilson

Husband, Father, Pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship & Author of a few books.

97 comments on “Why Christians Should Stop Saying, “Everything Happens For A Reason.””

  1. I agree that this statement can be harmful if said at the wrong time to the wrong person, but I disagree that it is invalid. Look at Job. God literally told the devil to try him and bring torment to his life. God created everything we see in this world because it is part of His perfect plan. There is ALWAYS a reason, or else God isn’t in control.

    We may not understand why everything happens, but God does and that should be good enough for us.

    1. God did challenge the devil to try and bring torment to Job’s life. However he did not design the specific events that happened to Job; Satan did. If God did not design the specific events, how could he design a specific reason for each event?

      Your second paragraph is more congruent with Job. God basically shuts Job up by saying that his ways are above us. However God does not say that there is a specific reason for everything but that we shouldn’t question him for what happens to us. In other words, we can’t question his general plan of existence.

      1. James 1:5,-7 If Any of YOU lack wisdom, LET HIM ASK God that gives to ALL MEN LIBERALLY, and upbraids not, IT SHALL BE GIVEN HIM. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he who wavers is like the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think he shall receive ANYTHING from the Lord.

    2. I totally agree with you. I love the example of Job that you used as well. The Bible says that the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord. Some steps are hard and difficult to understand but nonetheless ordered by GOD. Sunshine has no meaning Without Rain.

    3. God did not TELL the devil to try him, but rather he ASKED permission from God.

      God does not TELL the devil to harm us just to test us, that is not Who He is.

      Evil is evident because people CHOOSE to do evil things.

      But whatever the enemy meant for evil, God will turn it around for good.

      God is IN CHARGE of but He is NOT IN CONTROL of our decisions.

    4. I do completely agree with you. I work in a psychiatric center and to say that “everything happens for a reason” is just not acceptable. As you said it is like saying that God had a hand in bad things. A perfect God is not capable of doing bad. Thank you for posting that. I quit saying that for awhile, instead I ask them if we can find a purpose. Also asking them if this is going to control them or are they going to control it and help others because of it. Finding a purpose.

    5. Actually God didnt allow Job to be afflicted nor did God hand Job over to the devil as some pawn in a game.
      The verse, “Have you considered my servant Job?” Is read totally wrong and is very misleading.
      The verse actually doesn’t say that in its original language. It’s says this, “Why have you set your heart upon my servant Job?”
      God was asking the enemy why he had targeted Job to try to destroy him. Not “here want to try and afflict him?”

      1. Amen! Job’s fear is the thing that opened the door for the devil to bring all that destruction in his life. Job 3:25 For the THING which I SO GREATLY FEARED is come upon me, and that which I WAS AFRAID OF is come upon me. Fear & Faith are exact opposites spiritual forces that allows one kingdom or the other to go to work in our life. Faith in God and His WORD or His promises enables Him to release His power on your behalf.
        Example the New Birth. You did not get Born Again by accident. Somebody shared the gospel with in some form and YOU decided to BELIEVED IT. The moment you believed it the Holy Spirit moved in and gave new life to your once dead spirit. now you are a new creation in Christ Jesus. But before that you were on your way to hell, knowingly or unknowingly. But if YOU DECIDED not to believe the gospel; you would still be on headed the wrong way, even though is not our Fathers will (1Tim. 2:4; 2 Pet. 3:9).You were the determining factor, not God Or the Devil. You either believed the Word of God Or you believed the deceptions of the Devil, but you had freewill & choice.
        God continually says in His Word, “FEAR NOT, BE NOT AFRAID,” or one form of that or another. But you say, “How do I do that?”
        Rom. 10:17 Faith comes by HEARING, and hearing by THE WORD OF GOD. Faith was coming every time somebody was sharing the gospel with you, until one day that faith was matured and you reached in faith and received Jesus as your Lord and Saviour.
        God told Joshua in Josh. 1:9 Have I not COMMANDED you? BE STRONG and of GOOD COURAGE; BE NOT AFRAID, neither be dismayed: for the Lord your God is with you where ever you may go. And the verse before that God told him how to do that.
        Josh 1:8 This book of the law (God’ Word)shall not depart out of your mouth (In other words only be speaking words that are in line with God and His Word): BUT you shall MEDITATE therein day and night; so that YOU may observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then YOU SHALL Make your way PROSPEROUS and then YOU SHALL HAVE GOOD SUCCESS. Meditate has two prime meanings. One is to think or ponder on, roll around in our thinking process. The other is to mutter or talk to oneself.
        Remember faith does by hearing. We will believe ourself before we believe anybody else, so when we are muttering God’s Word to ourself we are building up our faith.
        You might say, “I don”t understand this meditating thing.”
        Yes you do! We all are proficient at it, but usually we call it worry. We roll the negatives thoughts around in our mind over and over, until we starting speaking them out of our mouth. Then we going around telling other people, many times we call it,” will you pray for me, if God doesn’t come through I’ m going down.” Nothing has happened yet, but we have worked ourself into a tizzy, we are developing ourself into outright stark FEAR.
        Fear and faith both come the same way, it’s just a matter of whose words we are meditating on. Meditating on God’s Word will develop faith in our Heavenly Father and allow to Him to go to work for us, but meditating on the deceptions of the devil will develop faith (called fear) and allow him be destruction in our life. Only he tells us God did this or that He allowed this devastation to happen so that He could teach us something or that He could get some glory form it. Another of our enemies deception.
        Until we understand Jn.10:10 THE THIEF comes not but to STEAL, KILL, and DESTROY, I (Jesus) have come to give life and life more abundantly. Our Heavenly Father is not the one out stealing, killing, and destroying our little babies. He’s not even allowing it to happen in the sense that He could do something about. Somewhere spiritual laws were put into operation that allowed the adversary to bring that destruction, and he’ll gladly blame it our our Father, and we as Christians with our man made religious traditions have been doing his work for him.
        Jesus said in Mk.4:13 that if we don’t understand this parable we won’t be able to understand any of the other parables. So this is the grandaddy parable of all parables.
        Mk.4:14-20 The sower sows the WORD.
        Vs. 15 Satan comes immediately to take away the Word. Satan is coming to get the Word of God, that is where the power is at. It is what creates faith in our spirit, but if there is no Word in our heart or spirit, he can fill it full of fear or unbelief.
        The next verses tell us the five things the devil uses to steal the Word. Vs. 17 persecution and afflictions arise for the Word’s sake. Vs. 19 the cares (worries ) of this world, deceitfulness of riches, lusts (pressures) of other things enter in and choke the Word.
        The devil does not want you to get established on the Word of God because you will be a threat to his kingdom. There is victory in Christ Jesus, but we must fight the good fight of faith, it is not all pie in the sky. We are in a real fight, but we must do it our Father’s way and not by our manmade devil inspired traditional ways. Our Father has made away of escape out of EVERY test, temptation, or trial ! For. 10:13.
        If you are going through something seek God’s wisdom James 1:5 of how and why and what to do in this situation. Then do it. Then find promises in His Word that cover the situation and meditate on them. Remember not everything is instant Most everything is done by putting laws and principles into operation. As you meditate on His Word FAITH IS COMING. Once faith is perfected or matured you have your deliverance. Faith and patience inherit the promises Heb.6:12 ;10:36; James 1:3,4.
        When Jesus was being tempted, tested, and tried in the wilderness He resisted the devil with the Word of God,”it is written.”

  2. Thank you for sharing this message, sometimes we just try to avoid our own responsibility as broken/sinful beings. And it is true we get lost in the world, so far beyond until the point we don’t even want to understand what is God’s will for our lives. (Jarrid, I think the verse you wanted to use on 1 John was chapter 2 verse 15)

  3. I Heard a friend say this same thing
    And I totally agree w you, sir.
    Mighty wisdom you have been given
    In a Spiritual sence than a World sence.
    God is in control, whether we believe it or not,
    Whether we are Saved or not.
    God will place road blocks
    Touch every ones hearts
    With Divine Appointments, interventions,
    Just so the saved and unsaved can
    Witness events so we can witness and glorify
    His Name, supernaturally.


    Nothing is by mistake
    Is another one.

    Everything I’d in perfect Order
    According to God and His Will be Done.
    In Jesus Mighty Name, Amen
    Hope I make sense.

  4. I totally agree ever since that phrased was coined I just couldn’t accept it, thanks for putting it into words I just couldn’t seem to !

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