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.

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

  1. I don’t agree with this. If you take this view that God doesn’t have a reason or a purpose behind the evil that takes place in the world, then you fall into the Epicurean trap. You’ve probably heard it in the recent Batman v. Superman movie, where Lex said, “If God is good then he is not all powerful, if he is all powerful, then he is not all good.” If you take the view that God doesn’t have a purpose for the existence of evil and suffering, you fail to have an omnipotent Creator. And if he could have stopped it, but didn’t, you have an evil Creator. God’s meaning and purpose for evil is the third option from rejecting His goodness or power.

    It is also a very practical comfort (if you drop the phrase as a cliche and take it as it is) that God is working all things according to His purposes. This means that the cancer, the cheating, the fire, and the seemingly needless/coincidental sufferings are not without purpose, and in that we can rest our heads, knowing that God is good and He knows what He’s doing with the creation that plots against Him. Those things don’t happen because God can’t stop it, but He’s using it toward His ends that will bring Himself the most glory (while maintaining the integrity of His goodness) since that is the ultimate goal of our existence. Otherwise, we have unrest thinking that maybe it might work out to our benefit, but we can’t have confidence that chaos and the emptiness of meaninglessness doesn’t reign in suffering/evil.

    Now, if I’m wrong about this, so be it. There would probably be a great explanation God could give me that better systematizes His word on this subject. But so far, I can only see God’s goodness and power as not being contradictory and that He has purpose and meaning for everything in creation (whether good or bad).

  2. I think we live in a fallen world and stuff happens. God is eternal, it didn’t surprise him what happened. I believe God is in the habit of redeeming all of it. The good, bad and ugly.

  3. I don’t say the phrase often if at all, but everything does happen for a reason. God allows good things to happen to the unjust-so they come to him- and to the just-so they will thank him. Bad things happen due to the fall of mankind since original sin, and by evil forces that get stronger by people who embrace sin. You reap what you sow, or you get mercy. Either grace, sin, or justice is a part of why everything happens.

Leave a Reply