“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive” — Genesis 50:20 (ESV)
“Everything happens for a reason.”
This saying shows up everywhere — these words are given as condolences after a loss, athletes say it in their press conferences after major sporting events, it even finds its place on to Christian radio… but I have always questioned the statement’s validity.
I don’t believe that everything happens for a reason.
I think that there are plenty of evil, awful things in this world that never should have happened and weren’t meant to.
The verse I started with may seem to contradict the point I’m making here. But I don’t think that God causes every single thing that has ever happened on this earth happen.
Surely He didn’t cause Adam and Eve to sin, right? Genesis talks about how the LORD was grieved at the people He had made which is why He confused their languages at the Tower of Babel and sent the Great Flood. So it doesn’t make logical sense that God caused those things to happen. Allowed them, yes, but didn’t plan them with a purpose in mind.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” — Ephesians 6:12 (ESV)
There is evil in this world. I think we can all agree on that. And as this verse talks about, it stems from the evil forces in this world. From Satan and his followers. I like to ignore or gloss over that, but it’s true. We as Christians are fighting a battle against evil that is very present in this world.
But God doesn’t want it to be that way. He never has. He created a beautiful, perfect world, He purposed for us to have abundant life and eternal, unhindered communion with Him. His will was not for evil to be in this world, but He gave us free will so that we could make the choice of whether to love and serve Him or not. Because He is all-good, all-knowing, and completely perfect, when we rejected that, we allowed evil to enter this world. And that evil brought consequences.
But that is where the beauty of the story comes in. God didn’t leave us off by ourselves to cope with these things, and His power didn’t cease to exist when we rejected Him. When we choose evil, He still fights for us and works all things for good.
That is what Joseph is telling his brothers in the verse I started with. God was not stopped by their evil motives and actions, because God is more powerful than we can ever comprehend. So the fact isn’t that God chooses evil for us or to be in our lives, but rather that He reigns sovereign over it, that He always has and always will claim the victory.
One day, He is coming back on the clouds to claim this world that He has never for a moment let go and on that day…
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” — Revelation 21:4
The comfort is not in knowing that everything happens for a reason, but rather in knowing that even the evil in this world doesn’t stop our God. That is what I’m clinging to no matter what happens in this world. No matter which president gets elected on November 8th. No matter how awful things get. My God is bigger and stronger and more powerful than it all.
I’m so sorry this went up a day late, midterms have been crazy!! But I wanted to go ahead and note ((mostly to hold myself accountable to it)) that I am going to try posting on Mondays again, but take a less traditional route. I am going to try to share my heart through other ways than just stream of consciousness blog posts. I have a few things I want to share, so we will see how that goes! Thanks for reading! 🙂