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Does everything happen for a reason? There are several known factors that help us to answer this question: the law of cause and effect, the law of grace, and the doctrine of the providence of God. ...
I do not believe so. Does God know what will happen to us. Yes. He is outside time and can see everything that happens to us even in our future. Does that mean that he controls every step we take, every thought we think, etc. I do not think so. Adam and Eve proved we were created with a free will when they chose to eat from the forbidden tree. With that free will comes an infinite variety of events that could happen to us. Including accidents. Sometimes, I believe, they are just that. An accident. Not orchestrated by God. Not even necessarily influenced by the enemy. That is not to say that many things that happen are not influenced by either God or the enemy. They are. We can see that from the book of Job. But sometimes they are just what they seem. An accident. And sometimes, even though God tries to prevent or influence these things, we fail to listen (that free will thing again) and cause the very thing God wants us to avoid. At the same time, by walking closely with God and listening, we can prevent the success of the enemy's attack on us. The Bible says "Get angry, but do not sin." When something bad happens, it is okay to be angry. But do not sin by blaming God. (Another lesson from the book of Job) But when something good happens, go ahead and praise Him because whether or not He directly ordered the steps of the blessing, He definitely created you to receive it. And if nothing good or bad happens today, praise Him anyway because you can!
I believe that nothing happens without God's directive or permissive will, and that God is able to make even what may seem to us to be the worst possible events to work for His purposes and glory, and for the benefit of His followers. However, in our current state of incomplete knowledge; in this present life and world; and at least partly due to the activity of the "prince of this world", (as Jesus called Satan), I don't believe that it is always possible for us to discern a meaning and purpose for everything that happens. There may even be a certain amount of randomness present, as Jesus (in my opinion) indicated when He spoke of the Galileans whom Pilate had put to death, or those who had died when the tower in Siloam fell on them. Jesus made clear that these events did not happen because the victims were greater sinners than other people, but instead should be taken as a warning to all people to repent and turn to God (Luke 13:1-5).
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