Summary: "Everything Happens For A Reason" seems Biblical... but it's not. Do you know why it's not true? And do you know what God actually teaches about His purpose and promises in our lives?
OPEN: Over the past couple of weeks we've been talking about stupid things that even Christians believe. Of course, these things that people believe don’t seem “stupid” to them at the time. In fact many of these things people believe seem perfectly reasonable… almost Biblical.
And that is particularly true of the statement we’re going to be looking at today.
That statement is: “Everything happens for a reason.”
Have you ever heard someone say that?
Have you ever said it?
I think I may have too.
It sounds almost Biblical… but it’s not.
And we’ll explain why in just a moment.
Now, when people say “everything happens for a reason” they mean well.
What they’re meaning to say is: God takes care of everything in a believer’s life. And since, God takes care of everything then nothing happens by chance. Thus, everything happens for a reason. Everything that happens in your life is ALL part of God’s plan.
ILLUS: Someone who believed this kind of thinking once said to Dr. J. Vernon McGee,
"I have been studying the Bible, and I believe I am absolutely safe in God's hand. No matter what I do, or how dangerous it may be, he is going to protect me. If I stepped out into a busy street against a red light I would be perfectly safe if my time had not yet come."
Dr. McGee replied, “If you are foolish enough to step out into traffic against a red light at the rush hour, brother… your time has come!”
Some time ago I saw a sign on Facebook which said:
“Everything happens for a reason.
Sometimes it’s because you’re stupid and make bad decisions.”
ILLUS: Now, the phrase “everything happens for a reason” is relatively harmless until you run into someone who thinks it’s a good thing to say a funeral.
There’s a true story of a woman who was leaving an evening church service and fell down the flight of steps outside the church and broke her hip. She had hip surgery, but instead of healing, she got progressively worse and until - a few short days later – she died.
At the visitation, the preacher stood beside the bereaved husband. And many people came up to the man who’d lost his wife to offer their sympathies.
• Some tried to console the husband: "God must have had a plan for this, so accept it."
• Another said, “It was God’s will and we must live by it."
• Still another said, "Somehow God planned this to test your faith!!"
• And still another said, "There is a silver lining in every cloud. You will find God’s reason behind this eventually."
Do you know what each of those friends was saying?
They were saying: “Everything happens for a reason.”
That almost sounds pious, until you consider the flip side of their meaning:
“Your wife died… because God had planned for her to die.”
Does that sound like a good thing to tell someone?
Of course not!
And the preacher left that funeral home filled with anger. He raged against their "babbling" (as he put it) and he went to the study and rewrote the beginning of his funeral sermon.