BY KEN BOONE
“Everything happens for a reason” is a phrase I’ve heard more times than I care to remember. It is often stated during times of difficulty from well meaning people who have found themselves as the main character of a bad story. The statement suggests that because God is in control of everything the path that He has chosen has led us to a situation that we don’t understand, and most likely don’t enjoy. That what has happened to us must be the result of God’s sovereign will, and therefore if it is His will there must be some purpose behind it. The statement comes close to painting us as mere creatures of happenstance subject to the winds and waves of life while completely removing ourselves from the consequences of bad decision making.
Certainly there are things we encounter in life that are out of our control. Whether or not it was God’s will is perhaps an article for another time. Outside of those situations there is a constant reality that we seem to ignore, or at the very least would like too. The truth is: you and I are very capable of making a bad decision and those bad decisions have consequences. More often than not it is those decisions that lead us into seasons of our lives where we—like others before us—find ourselves attempting to find some level of comfort by quoting the phrase “everything happens for a reason.” The danger is missing the fact that the real reason is the direct result of a poor choice, and in reality has very little to do with God’s will.
I want to be honest with you, I have recently made some bad decisions. Within a six month period I resigned a well paying position, bought a house that needed complete renovations, moved into that house, started a new job, planted a church, and restructured other areas of my life. The result was nearly fatal. I find myself looking back on the situation asking myself: “what was I thinking?” It’s not that any of those decisions were necessarily bad in themselves, but the timing of lumping them all together in such a short period was foolish on my part. It has cost me more than I was willing to pay. I will be the first to admit that the reason behind this was not the will of God, but rather my will and very poor decision making.
The good news is even when we make a bad decision God is still redemptive. Perhaps the reason many believers have quoted the phrase above, and have subscribed to the poor theology behind it, is because they have experienced the redemptive work of a gracious God in the midst of a situation that was caused by their own choices. What they actually experienced was God working His goodness into a situation and bringing transformation to it so that they wouldn’t have to reap what they sowed. Even though God didn’t cause it to happen, He did—and still does—have the ability to change the end result. It might be better for us to understand that God has the ability to bring reason to everything that happens.
King David made a horrible decision when he chose to commit adultery with Bathsheba and murder her husband. Because of that decision the child who was conceived died, and David was rebuked by Nathan the prophet. There was great consequences to the decision David made. In response, he humbly admitted his guilt, repented, and was restored. After this event God declared David to be “a man after His own heart.” God brought redemption to a destructive decision. It was Solomon the son who was later born to David and Bathsheba that succeeded David as king, that built the temple and achieved an unsurpassed measure of success. Even though David paid a great price for his poor decision, the redemptive work of God was evident and ultimately brought about a gracious result that David’s actions did not warrant.
As one who has made bad decisions, and will likely make more in the future I am in need of the redemptive work of God and quite possibly you are as well. I believe that there is some responsibility on our part that is required for the process of redemption to begin.
Although we have discovered the path to God’s redemptive work in our lives I do believe that there is also a pathway to making sound decisions whereby we can avoid the potential fallout of poor decision making.
God is good all the time. We shouldn’t credit the product of a bad decision to a God who only intends for us to experience His goodness. It would be more beneficial for us to understand that we are a key player in the outcome of life’s decisions for both good and bad. When we do make a bad decision that costs us more than we can afford to pay, we can place our trust in a gracious God. Who at His core is a good Father that will redeem the situation for our benefit.
Ken Boone currently serves as a co-host on The Alliance Podcast at boldcupofcoffee.com and founding pastor at Alabaster House as well as a public speaker, travelling equipper and writer at newbreedministries.org.
Ken and his wife Christa are the proud parents of four children. They have been married for more than 15 years. And have been in the ministry for more than 17 years, They have dedicated their lives to preaching the "Gospel of the Kingdom", and to living a life in partnership with Holy Spirit. Their desire is to see believers equipped to live a lifestyle that brings the realities of Heaven to the world that we live in, to see the culture of the Kingdom of God replace the cultures around us. And to fulfill the mandate from Jesus to: "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, freely you have received freely give." Check out more of Ken;s articles.
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