“Everything happens for a reason”. Some people say this flippantly. Some say it as a word of ‘encouragement’. But when you are in the middle of something horrid, they are tough words to hear or believe, especially when the bad that happens is based on people who do bad things. Then, you have to grapple with God’s sovereignty versus His goodness. If He is sovereign, then why does He let it happen? Maybe He’s not good. If He is good, maybe He’s not sovereign and is unable to control it.
But God IS sovereign AND He is good. Even though sometimes the world seems full of randomness, God is not just sitting back and watching; yet His character still stands up. Paul Enns provides a thoughtful, biblical response to the question in his book Everything Happens for a Reason?: God’s Purposes in a World Gone Bad.
We are incapable of fully understanding or interpreting all the bad things and tragedies that occur. But God IS at work in all things, big and small. In thirteen chapters, Paul Enns tackles the difficult questions – why bad things happen, is God sovereign over evil, why we suffer, the purpose of suffering, etc. The answers aren’t easy. He provides clarity and hope through biblical passages and characters as well as illustrations from his own life and the lives of other admirable Christians who have walked the earth before us.
The last chapter is the best. Paul Enns pulls everything together so that you can live out what you know and believe. He gives a plan on what to do when suffering and loss come your way. It boils down to remembering God’s goodness and power, not dwelling on suffering and tragedies but centering our thoughts on Jesus Christ, and nurturing a divine, eternal perspective.
Powerful, enlightening, encouraging, and strengthening – this book invites you to draw nearer to Jesus as you understand that God is good and sovereign, whether He delivers or not, whether He heals or not, whether we understand it or not. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is grappling to understand God’s goodness and purpose in the face of suffering and evil.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Moody Press in exchange for my honest review.