Does Everything Happen for a Reason?

Does Everything Happen
For a Reason?
Pastor Stephen "Red" Shumate
May 15th, 2016
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

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Does Everything happen for a Reason?
Or do we just say that as a defense mechanism?

Let’s say, for example, that our house burned down.  When tragedies like this happen, we tend to immediately say… “God must have a reason” or “Everything happens for a reason… I just don’t know what it is right now.”

And honestly, if we thought that these kinds of things happen for no apparent reason then it could become devastating.  Maybe we might think “Then, why am I being so good if it isn’t getting me anywhere.” or “Why doesn’t God care?”

BUT …if we have the mindset that everything happens for a reason even if we don’t know what it is, it eases the pain of the loss. It explains why God lets bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people.

But the question is…
“Does everything really happen for a reason?

The problem is, we may never know the answer to this question.  Scripture doesn’t lay this out very clearly…but there are some things we can know.

So let’s look at what we can know…

1. Everything Happens Because of a Reason

This isn’t the same thing as saying everything happens FOR a reason.  Now the big difference in what we are saying here…is that everything has a cause… but not everything has a purpose.

Galatians 6:7-8
Don’t be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows he will also reap, 8 because the one who sows to his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit.

We reap, because we sow…what we reap, depends on what we sow.
If we don’t sow, then we don’t reap.  If we sow grass, we will get grass, if we sow grapes then we will get grapes… If we sow rocks, we will get rocks…

And so, things happen because something caused them to happen…Now this is not that surprising, even science agrees with this one. Newton’s Third law of motion states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

 In other words, for everything that happens, there is a reason it happened (not necessarily a purpose).  And really, this principle can really be applied to many different things.

If I eat food, then I will get nourishment…
If I go to school, then I will learn…
If I say I love you, then you will smile…
If I say I hate you, then it makes you sad…
If I sin, it affects me and you…

And the truth is, the world is the way it is, because of sin.  Sin has caused the world to be in the state of evil that it is in.  And really, bad things happen because sin has entered the world.  Take a moment to imagine what this world would be like without sin... there would be no disease, no death, no crime and no bad things.  But because sin entered the world, bad things happen in the world.  

So, the first thing that we can know is that while everything that happens may not have a reason, it does have a cause.  And many of those “bad” things that happen in our lives, is a result of the consequence of sin (not necessarily our own sin).

2. Some things do Happen For a Reason

God does purposely cause some things to happen.

Genesis 2:21 - So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to come over the man, and he slept.

Genesis 7:4  - Seven days from now I will make it rain on the earth 40 days and 40 nights, and I will wipe off from the face of the earth every living thing I have made.”

Exodus 10:1 - Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may do these miraculous signs of Mine among them

Psalms 23 - He maketh me to lie down in green pastures

Scripture tells us that God does, in fact, cause at least some things to happen for specific reasons.  And so the second thing that we can know is that God does cause some things to happen in your life, and if He does cause them, He causes them for a reason

God may very well, not only allow something to happen in your life, but He may have caused it to happen.  And if this is a case, He did it for a very specific and glorifying reason.

3. All Things Work Together for good…

Romans 8:28
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God,

Many people will use this verse to say that everything happens for a reason, but this is not what this scripture says.  There are two things we want to point out here…

The first thing that we want to point out is that this scripture doesn’t say, that all things happen for a reason…but…that some things at the very least are given a reason.  The differentiation here is… does the purpose come first or are things given a purpose and then turned into something good?

The second thing we need to point out in this scripture is that this is only promised to “them that love God…and are called for his purpose.”

We’ve talked a lot lately about living in God’s will and what you will notice, is that if you are living in God’s will everything starts to align and work together.

Furthermore, when you are living in God’s will and the people around you are living in God’s will, then things start to align and work together.  Which, of course, makes sense if we are all a part of the body of Christ, working towards one goal.

What we need to remember is that no matter what happens to us, God will use it for good.  No matter what someone does to us (or Satan does in our life) God can and will spin it around and use it for good.

4. No Matter What Happens…We know God is with us….

Whether he has caused the thing to happen, or whether life is just walking all over us, He is with us and will get us through it.  We are not alone.  

 Joshua 1:9
“Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

How is that for a promise? How is that for a command….no matter what you are going through, no matter what life hands you, no matter how big your bag of lemons is, no matter how aggressive the cancer is, no matter how many abusive relationships you’ve been in, no matter how bad business is for you, no matter how many people you have lost in your life…

Be STRONG and COURAGOUS…DO NOT BE AFRAID OR DISCOURAGED….FOR THE Lord your God is with you wherever you go!!!!

If you are struggling with the why things are happening in your life are the way they are…then know these four things.

1. Things are going to happen because we live in a world that has been corrupted by sin…

2. There are some things that God does for a very specific reason…and if He has done this in your life, then you can know it was for a very good reason…

3. Regardless of whether something happens because we live in a world that has been corrupted by sin, or whether God did it by design, we can know that all things work together for the good of those who love God:

4. And as we struggle through life we can be STRONG and COURAGOUS…we don’t need to be AFRAID OR DISCOURAGED….FOR THE Lord your God is with us wherever we go!!!!

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