Updated: Jun 5, 2019
I've been wrestling with the topic of wether or not everything happens for a reason these last few months.
Perhaps my own struggles that have lead me into scripture to find answers will help shed some light on some of your own personal struggles.
Recently there has been a popularization of the idea that "Sometimes bad things happen for no reason other than we are human beings having a human experience."
Which sounds all fine and logical until you start to unpack what it truly means.
Essentially it's saying that there is no reason for some of the suffering in life, that it serves no greater purpose and it's all because we live in a broken world.
As if to say that we wander aimlessly through life, not led by the Lord but wandering by our own discernment, with a father who is willing to put on a bandaid when we hurt ourselves but not willing to point us in a direction where we can avoid unnecessary pain.
It's just simply not true.
'For I know the plans I have for you,” reads Jeremiah 29:11
Each day is planned for you. It does not say each day is simply known. It says each day is planned.
Had it been known, God would simply be an observer, a victim of his own universe when things turned for the worst. But it is planned, masterfully crafted by the author of all things.
I was reminded of the story of Job, and it has helped explain this concept to me.
“Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”
The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”
This story shows first shows that God has chosen to put protection around Job, very clearly because he has followed the Lords commands.
It also shows that Satan asks for permission to harm Jobs family because The Lord must give permission for anything to happen to him.
The Lord himself will never harm you, but he will allow you to endure hardship.
And so we are brought to the root of the question we are exploring. Hardship, pain, suffering, loss. What is the purpose, if any at all?
A look at the books of the Bible written by those closest to Jesus offers some insight.
Romans 5:3-5 says: "Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope."
And if Hebrews 12:1 says. "And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us" How can we then possible run the race without perseverance?
How can we possibly receive perseverance without enduring pain?
It's like we have forgotten why we're here. Why we're really here.
It's for one reason and one reason only.
To become like Jesus.
And what is Jesus like? He's compassionate, loving, kind, a man of character and hope and love.
And he only became a man of character and hope because of the awful pain he endured during his life and he only became love because of the final sacrifice he paid on the cross.
You hear people say of others, "This person is brave. That person is tough" but you aren't either of those things by just saying them.
You have to endure fear to become brave. You have to deal with difficult times to become a tough person.
There is a plan for your life. Formed before the foundations of the Earth were laid.
When God wrote that plan, he put pain into that plan. And being the author of your story and being responsible for your well-being, said "Yes" to allowing that pain in your life knowing that as it says in Romans 8:28 " for those who love God all things work together for good."
Not just some things. Not just the things that didn't hurt too bad. He didn't just say the good times work for the good. He said all things.
To say that there is no reason for it, would be to walk away from the most important moment in your life. It would be to leave one of the most important lessons of your life unlearned.
I don't know why people get cancer. I don't know why young children die in car accidents. I don't know why marriages end in divorce.
But I do know, absolutely, with all of my being - that there is a purpose for everything.
I'm very familiar with loss. I know what it's like to lose someone. And isn't that the worst possible outcome? Death?
We think that maybe some sufferings in life can produce character - but what happens when someones life is cut short? How can that possible work out for the good?
This world is full of destruction and death, how can all the suffering in the world work out for good?
Have we so soon forgot?
John 16:33 NKJV "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
We don't as Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 "...grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him."
Christ has conquered even death, Revelation 1:18 NIV "I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades."
In the end anything that God does, he does to prepare us for eternity.
Because in the end we all die.
And even that's not truly the end. In many ways, it's the beginning.
All that matters is that when we do pass on, that we spend eternity with Christ.
If he has to allow pain in our lives to set us on the right path to getting to eternity with him, if he has to allow pain to help make us more like Christ, or to purify us before we get to heaven - then let the pain come.
As is said in 2 Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
It might hurt.
In fact it will hurt.
But there is always a reason for the pain.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jozef Lalka is a former Infantryman with the Canadian Armed Forces and founder of War Doll. Since releasing from the military, Jozef continues to rigorously train and expand his knowledge of a variety of weapons platforms and tactics.
Having earned a diploma in Media & Video production, Jozef works as a graphic designer, photographer and videographer while pursing a passion for current global conflicts and how they relate to historical events.