Sometimes, people say that everything happens for a reason (as in "God has a purpose with everything that happens, good or bad"). It seems to me that the Bible is not clear on the subject. On one hand, it seems to contradict, for example, our free will, and on the other hand, there are passages, such as the following verses:

Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (Ps 136:16)

I'm not looking for the "right" Christian view on this, because I know people come to different conclusions. But I would like an answer that provides important biblical passages to support or fail to support the two views and a commentary for each.

Related: All my days are ordained before I was born?

  • 1
    Everything happens for a reason: such is the nature of causality.
    – TRiG
    Commented Sep 6, 2013 at 10:24
  • Your right. My bad was in translating the Swedish "Det finns en mening med allt" to "everything happens for a reason". It's not exactly the same thing. I try to make the question more explicit. Thanks :) Commented Sep 6, 2013 at 11:18
  • This is a really touching testimony that touches on these subjects. Really answers alot of questions also: whchurch.org/blog/8447/triumph-by-testimony-3 Commented Sep 12, 2013 at 8:19

2 Answers 2


@Martin.kv Good answer! I would only add Romans 8:28

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

All things, whether good or bad, work together for good to those who love God and follow His plan for them.

Like Joseph said in Genesis 50:20 to his brothers

But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.

It wasn't God's plan for his brothers to work evil against him and sell him as a slave, that was the enemy's doing. But God USED this opportunity for good, and in the process, perfected Joseph's character so that he would be ready to do what God had planned for him to do.

In the same way, God has plans for us. Even if sometimes things happen that we do not understand, God plans to use these to prepare us to carry out the plans He has for us. Nevertheless He does not violate our free will, so this only happens if we so choose to submit our will to His.

  • I've not accepted your answer because Martin.kv:s answer was what I was really asking for (passages with comments). You added to that which is great. But I just wanted to say that I've came to the same conclusion largely that you did. Commented Sep 12, 2013 at 8:17
  • No problem. I would have accepted his answer too! Take care Niclas! Commented Sep 12, 2013 at 13:15

God has a purpose with everything that happens, good or bad and he does have a plan for each of us
(Jeremiah 29:11)

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

but his will for us does not come to pass automatically because his adversary satan too has his agenda which is opposed to Gods will for man (John 10:10)

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

1Peter 5:8

8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

John 14:30

30 I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me,

but he has power over us, as explained here, and brings sickness and disease and trials and temptations against us.

God has given us free will, the power to choose between good and evil. But satan teaches that the power to choose is an illusion, because he is the spirit of deception.
John 8:44

44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Gods plan for us is revealed in
Romans 12:2.

12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Ultimately we may choose life by being led by his Holy Spirit or choose death.
Deuteronomy 30:19

19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live

Planet Earth is the battle field where the kingdom of heaven is at war with the kingdom of this world.

Galatians 6:8

8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.


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