One erroneous notion commonly held by both professed Christians and unbelievers alike is that which views God as directing the universe in a scripted sense, as if “everything happens for a purpose” under the scripted will of God.
This fatal idea apparently roots from an allegedly Biblical standpoint. But, under this misleading view, “all things work together for good” (Rom.8:28), wrongly understood, would now come to mean that bad things are indeed necessary for good things to happen. If this was truly the case, then sin would have been a blessing, because it was sin that caused the suffering, and if suffering was in fact meant for good.
Needless to say, this idea strikes a deadly blow to our understanding of the will, character and purposes of God. On one hand, it says that God’s goodness is dependent on the existence of bad things. On the other, it makes up for us an excuse to our own bad choices, justifying them in the most-quoted “everything happens for a purpose,” as if God approves Robinhood’s stealing for the poor just because “the end justifies the means.”
The fact, is, God’s goodness is so great that despite—not because of, but, in spite of—the bad things, His goodness prevails.
This then means that God’s will is not a script of events set on a timeline, as if God makes a movie out of our experiences, making fun of the ups and downs of our sin-saturated lives. Instead, God’s will is a principle that embodies His ideals but also allows for our own choices to be executed at our own freewill. In a word, God’s will is God acting always according to His character of love.
So, bringing it home, you’ve got delays, postponements, cancellations and the like. Then you accuse God that perhaps, after all, these were what He willed. But, remember, you had a choice, while God had maintained an ideal independent of that choice you have now made. So, weren’t those bad things actually the fruition of your own will? Yes, they were, exactly! Nevertheless, because of His infinite love, mercy and goodness, God then acts on a new, ideal, good plan after you have acted according to your own bad choice. Hence, it is then, that despite—not due to, but despite—your bad choices, God’s goodness will still prevail.
Once again, the point is pinned.
The first edition of this article was first published in the “Pinpoint” Opinion Section of The Epistle, Vol.1, Issue 2, August 2012.