Does everything happen for a reason?

by Matt Slick

From the Christian perspective, everything happens for a reason. The Bible says that God, " all things after the counsel of His will," (Eph. 1:11).  This means that every event that occurs does so after God's plan. God is not arbitrary. He knows all things (1 John 3:20) and since he created the universe, he created it knowing how all things would occur due to his ordination.  Therefore, everything that God permits to occur he permits for a reason whether it be good or bad (Acts 4:27-28).  However, we may not know what the reason always is.  But as Christians, we must trust that God's ways are above our ways (Isaiah 55:9) and that the Lord is directing our steps (Proverbs 16:9).

  • God causes the weather, Job. 37:6-13, “For to the snow He says, ‘Fall on the earth,’ and to the downpour and the rain, ‘Be strong.’ 7 “He seals the hand of every man, That all men may know His work. 8 “Then the beast goes into its lair, and remains in its den. 9 “Out of the south comes the storm, And out of the north the cold. 10 “From the breath of God ice is made, and the expanse of the waters is frozen. 11 “Also with moisture He loads the thick cloud; He disperses the cloud of His lightning. 12 “And it changes direction, turning around by His guidance, that it may do whatever He commands it on the face of the inhabited earth. 13 “Whether for correction, or for His world, or for loving-kindness, He causes it to happen."
  • The Lord does what he pleases, Psalm 135:6, "Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps."
  • God does according to his will, Dan. 4:35, "All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth. And no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’" "
  • God has a predetermined plan, Acts 2:23, "This Man, delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death."
  • God determines times and boundaries, Acts 17:26, "and He [God] made from one, every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times, and the boundaries of their habitation.

Cause and Effect

Within Christianity there is the concept of cause and effect. Though this is not in the same realm as God's decreed purpose, we can say that certain things occur because other things have happened.

  • "Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully," (2 Corinthians 9:6).
  • Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life," (Galatians 6:7-8).

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.