Actually, Everything Does Happen For A Reason

Actually, Everything Does Happen For A Reason

No matter what happens, He is good, and He has a plan.
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I was scrolling through my Facebook feed the other day when I came across a shared article called, "Everything Doesn't Happen For a Reason." Wondering what the heck this author had to say about the subject of hardships and loss, I opened it to see what exactly he had to say. His overall theme was that instead of saying "Everything happens for a reason," which is "bullshit" in his opinion, the only words of solace that should be given are, "Some things in life cannot be fixed. They can only be carried."

These words are definitely true. You can't "fix" the grief that comes with the loss of a brother or sister. You can't "fix" someone after they've gone through a major trial in their life. He hit the nail right on the head by stating that. He also made some good points about how those who have helped you in your darkest days, and not said much at all, are great friends that should be treasured. I definitely agree with that too.

However, one of the first things he stated in this article pushed me over the edge:

Let me be crystal clear: if you've faced a tragedy and someone tells you in any way, shape or form that your tragedy was meant to be, that it happened for a reason, that it will make you a better person, or that taking responsibility for it will fix it, you have every right to remove them from your life.

I've faced tragedy. I've lost a teammate, a grandmother, and one of my "bigs" in my sorority. I've seen my best friends lose parents and siblings too soon. I've watched the girls in three sororities on UGA's campus overcome with more sorrow and grief than I've ever seen before. And you know what? I don't think I would've made it out of those situations of sorrow without relying on my Heavenly Father who has a plan for my life.

"Everything happens for a reason." I agree with him when he states that it's one of the most cliche, overused statements used in times of mourning. I can't say it's necessarily my "go-to" statement for reassurance or love. However, I can tell you one thing: there is a reason.

This is most easily taken as "God made my mom die," or "God wanted me to lose my best friend." God never wants you broken. He never wants you angry with Him, and He never plans to "ruin your life." However, He does allow death to happen. Is that something I'm necessarily pumped about? No. But he does promise us this:

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." - Jeremiah 29:11

This isn't an excuse. This doesn't mean that tragedies like a parent's suicide or the Orlando shooting have "good intentions" or aren't meant to leave us devastated. It's OK to grieve, it's OK to be frustrated with God, and it's OK to be heartbroken. But the Lord doesn't want us to run away from Him and be bitter in these times of sadness. He wants us to run to Him and know that He is the source of comfort and peace.

In my opinion, there is a reason we lose people when we don't want to. I think the Lord's hope is that we cling to Him and grow with Him in times of tragedy. Unlike the arguments that the author of this article poses, human comfort and condolences will never fully heal your heart. A friend's support can mask the pain or temporarily fix it, but I can promise you that the Lord will bring you much more relief than you could ask for.

After losing four girls at the University of Georgia this spring, the students in Athens clung to the Lord. They put their trust and hope in Him, and it ultimately brought more peace and comfort than I think any of us could've asked for. It made clear to people who were unsure about the power of the Lord that He is good. It mended broken hearts and brought out a lot of joy. There was a revival in Athens, and it was all because of what the Lord did through the loss of our four good friends. Was it still a sad time? Absolutely. However, the comfort that followed these losses was so, so sweet.

So, Mr. Cynic, there is a reason that bad things happen. No, this doesn't mean that someone should push aside the grief they're feeling. No, this doesn't mean that your tragedy was "meant to be," or you have to take responsibility for it. This doesn't mean that it's not OK to be sad. It doesn't mean you can't be angry with God. However, this means that the whole purpose of the bad things that happen in your life is that they're going to show you the power of the Lord. He is the ultimate healer and the ultimate comforter. And whether you like it or not, He is your only source of hope and joy in your time of need.

Cover Image Credit: Christy Quinton

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12 Bible Verses For Faith In Hard Times

Remind yourself that God is always with you.
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Lately, I have felt lost at what God wants for my life. Ever since I've come back to UWG everything has been horrible. It seems that I can't catch a break. I'm trying my best to focus on school, work, and extracurricular activities. But it's hard when I'm having issues with my apartment/roommates and knowing my family back home is struggling and needs many prayers. All, I keep thinking is maybe Carrollton isn't where I belong anymore. I've asked God if He can guide me in the right direction. Below, I have found Bible verses that have helped get me through these rough, past couple of weeks.

1. Isaiah 43:2

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you."

2. Psalm 37:5

"Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in Him, and He will act."

3. Romans 8:18

"The pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming."

4. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed in strength, and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."

5. Joshua 1:9

"Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous."

6. Ecclesiastes 3:1

"There is a time for everything and a reason for every activity under the heavens."

7. Isaiah 41:10

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

8. Isaiah 66:9

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord."

9. Psalm 91:4

"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

10. Psalm 62:1-2

"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him, He alone is my rock and my salvation."

11. Philippians 4:13

"I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."

12. Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

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Young Adults, If You Do Not Pray Now Is The Time To Start

Prayer is not just for our grandparents.

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Every Sunday night my parents would drag me to the prayer service. There was no kids church, we all had to sit in a pew with my parents and listen. I remember counting tiles on the roof, reading hymnals, doing anything to distract myself, except pray.

I didn't understand it then. What was the point of talking to God if He knew what you were thinking and doing all the time? I didn't understand how important it was not just to let God watch you like an all-seeing eye from Heaven, but to talk and have a personal relationship with him.

We all talk about prayer, it's the Christian thing to do. We pray for our food before every meal. We tell a friend or co-worker we will pray for them. When a friend posts on Facebook or social media about something bad happening, the comment section reads "praying." It's the automated response that everyone gives. If we actually sat down and prayed, think of the good we could do. I am nowhere near perfect, but I know that I can pray.

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16

When I feel like the world is crashing down around me, and there is nothing else I do, this verse is the one that helps me remember that my conversations with God can make a difference. We are called on to pray for everyone. We are called to pray for each other without dispute. No anger, no hatred, just sharing a moment of lifting hands in prayer.

I urge, then first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercessions and thanksgiving be made for all people. 1 Timothy 2:1
Therefore, I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing. 1 Timothy 2:8

Prayer can bring people together. When I think back now to those Sunday nights I appreciate all the prayer that was offered up. I don't remember what they were for but weekly we would hear reports of what God had done through prayer. That is a powerful tool.

Prayer is not gender, race, age, or political party bias. It is not something that is out there for the world to see. It is a very personal choice, but it has the power to change the world. The loss of Reverend Billy Graham and so many others this past year brought me to a realization. Our generation needs to step up.

Young adults have the chance to make a huge difference. In an interview, Bishop Bill Hamon said that he believes young adults are going to be an army for God that is unstoppable and on fire. You can see it in all that we do. We are driven, we are not afraid, we are unstoppable. It is up to us to start making a difference in prayer.

Don't wait for the prayer warriors in your life to reach heaven before you start praying. The time is now because none of us are promised tomorrow.

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