At one point he said, “Well, sometimes God brings bad things to you in order to bring you something good.” That brought to my mind several statements we’ve all heard from time to time. One of the most popular is, “God has a reason.”
I told him I do believe God can close one door and open another door. I’ve seen that happen in my life many times. In fact, on a few occasions, I ignored a closed door and the results were not very pleasant.
I went on to tell Him that God does not bring bad things into our lives so He can then give us something good. People even go so far as to imply when you’re going through a difficult time God is testing you. He’s trying your faith; He’s looking to see if you really love Him.
If a dad tied his children up with rope so tight it hurt them, and then told them he was testing their love for him, he should go to jail. Yet, some people are saying that’s exactly what God does. And, sadly, there are a lot of Christians who wrongly believe God is responsible for hurtful things they are dealing with.
If you’re a fan of the Bible you probably remember Jesus said, “The thief comes not but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Do we really want to call a thief?
Everything Happens For A Reason, Right?
What about the phrase, “Everything happens for a reason?” Or, sometimes people say, “That was just meant to be.” Is it really true? Does everything happen for a reason?
I would answer that question both yes and no. “No” to those who mean that no matter what happens, God has a reason for either allowing it to happen, or, as some believe, actually making it happen.
“Yes,” because of cause and effect. The result is the effect, and the reason it happens is the cause. Let me give you an example.
Almost every driver knows for their car engine to operate properly, it needs to have the proper amount of oil. If it runs out of oil, it will ruin the engine. So, if someone’s engine gets ruined for a lack of oil, was that just meant to be?
Does God have a reason for that engine to be ruined? Don’t things happen for a reason? Yes, they do, and in this case, the reason was a lack of oil.
Okay, that was obvious. Here’s another example.
Suppose you have a flat tire. Someone stops to help you. During the course of changing the tire, you say something to the person assisting you that really helps them.
There are some who will say the flat tire happened for a reason. They actually believe God had a hand in it. Why? Because He wanted you to be at a precise location at a precise time so that you could say something to someone that would really help them.
To some this sounds like a very godly and spiritual event. I disagree.
First of all, we all have many opportunities to talk to people who come across our paths and help them. Secondly, I don’t believe the Creator of the heavens and earth is so limited that He needs to puncture your tire in order to arrange for you to say something to someone that would help them.
Of course God opens many doors for people to help others. The Bible says He directs our steps, and that He is at work in us to will and to do of His good pleasure. And, despite His desire for people to receive His best, He still honors the free will He gave us, to help or not help, to receive help, or not receive help.
But puncture our tires? Give us a sickness? Take away our job?
There is evil in this world. There is disease. There are circumstances beyond our control that bring challenges our way at times. It’s not orchestrated by our loving God; Jesus went about doing good, healing all that were oppressed of the devil.
Prayer And Trust
I shared with the person I was talking to about praying and trusting God to find future employment. I think he had a little better perspective. At least he doesn’t think God brought him this challenging circumstance. I hope he prays and puts His trust in God.
Ironically, just a few days later, I was on the phone with a vendor who told me her company was closing the office where she works. It was her last day. She seemed optimistic, and even more so when I told her to pray and trust God to find something as good or even better. That is exactly what she said she was doing.
Maybe instead of attributing everything in the world that happens to being orchestrated by God, it might be a better idea to pray and ask for His help, and trust Him for His help, however He chooses to bring it