Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.
I would say that the Bible depicts God as having two types of will -- an active will (that is, things that He directs or causes to happen), and a passive will (things that He allows to happen). But God is sovereign over both types of events, and can use each of them for His purposes. Proverbs 16:33 says, "The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD." If God is involved in as trivial an event as the casting of a lot (similar to the throwing of a pair of dice, or the flipping of a coin) to make a decision, it indicates that there is no event that is outside of His control, or of a usefulness for His purposes. Just as one might quote Solomon's words in the above proverb, it would also seem possible to quote another passage (Ecclesiastes 9:11) where he seems to be saying the exact opposite when he writes, "I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill, but time and chance happens to them all." However, by Solomon's own admission in that verse, he was speaking from the perspective of one "under the sun" (that is, from the viewpoint of the "natural" man, who has no spiritual knowledge or discernment). Jesus also later provided God's perspective on the subject in Matthew 10:29-30, when He told His followers that not even as seemingly insignificant a creature as a sparrow dies without God's knowledge, and that even the hairs of our heads are all numbered. In addition, as noted by Paul in Romans 8:28, God is also capable of taking any event (even one that humans mean for evil against one of His followers) and turning it into ultimate good for that person.
From God's perspective everything happens for a reason. We know this from the nature and character of God, and his plans and purposes, revealed in the bible. From our human perspective we are often perplexed at the situations in our life, and cry out, why me, Lord. We simply can't understand because of our limited abilities as humans. Sometimes we can see what God is up to, based on the revelation in the bible, but at other times we must accept by faith, that God is keeping his promise, that his sovereign will is always good, pleasing and perfectly suited for us (Romans 12:2). Everything happens for a reason because God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and present-everywhere. Here are some examples from scripture. All-Powerful "The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power; in his justice and righteousness, he does not oppress. Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and earth by your great power and outstretched harm. Nothing is too hard for you." All-Knowing "I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, my purpose will stand and I will do all that I please. From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account." Present Everywhere "Who can hide in secret places so I cannot see them?" declares the Lord. "Do not I fill heaven and earth," declares the Lord. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens you are there; if I make my bed in the depths you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good. We also know from scripture that God's sovereign activity - his good, pleasing and perfect will expressed through his plans and purposes - will always reflect his divine character. Let's look at 4 character traits as an example - God is just, righteous, loving and faithful. Justice God hates injustice and will often punish evil and wickedness in this world. God has established a judgement day when he will perfectly judge and punish all evil and wickedness, that is not covered by the blood of Christ, and will remove it from his new creation forever. Righteousness God has given human beings his commandments to live a righteous life. God is always teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, every Christian who will submit to Jesus as the Lord of their life. Loving God created every human being to have an intimate personal relationship with him through faith in Jesus Christ. God is calling every person to repentance because he is not willing that any should perish. God disciplines every Christian so we will put off our sinfulness and put on our holiness. Faithfulness God never allows anything to happen in our lives as Christians that is not in accordance with his will. God is always faithful and never turns his back on us. When God allows bad things to happen in our lives, it is for his ultimate good purposes. When we know the character of God well, as revealed in the bible, we will increasingly see the reasons for what is happening in our lives. As our faith grows and matures, we will be able to "keep watch" as Jesus commanded us, so we will not be surprised by anything that God does, or allows to happen, in our world.
All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.
A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.