Is everything that happens God's will?

The Question

Is everything we do or everything that happens to us according to God’s plan for our life? I was interviewed for a better job and was unsuccessful. Was it God’s will that I didn’t get the job?

V from South Africa


The Answer
Part 1: God uses all things

God uses all things (Part 1)

No, everything that happens to us is not God’s will or plan for our life. For instance, God does not will for us to sin but every one of us does it anyhow. In the case of sin, God provided an antidote for it in Christ’s sacrificial death. He has a remedy ready made for every time we fall short.

There are other things too that we know are definitely not God’s will. When Jesus came to earth he always healed disease wherever he found it and he always delivered any who were oppressed by the enemy. These things are part of the original curse that fell on mankind when Adam and Eve first sinned but were never intended for us. Even so, here we are living in a fallen world, often experiencing the negative results of it.

You may not feel that those examples have much to do with your question. You lost out on a job you wanted and needed and you wonder what to make of it from a spiritual perspective. We need to know: where is God when bad things happen to us.

So now we come to the good part. Even though everything is not God’s will, everything that happens to us can be worked for good by God. He can redeem it all as if it was his Plan A. We often don’t know exactly WHY something happened the way it did but usually in time we see how God turned it and used it for a good purpose in our life.

One of our greatest Bible promises is this: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28) It means that regardless of what things happen, we can trust that God can use them. I can think of a few times in my own life when the end result was so good it appeared God must have planned the original event, even when it was a negative to me at the time.

Was it God’s will that you didn’t get that job? I don’t know. Maybe it wasn’t really as good a job as it appeared. Maybe God saved you from disaster you’ll never know about. Maybe God has a better job in mind. Maybe it would have been a great job but the devil stuck his finger into it so it didn’t go your way. Regardless—trust God that he has you in the palm of his hand and that he is working ALL things for your good.

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