Everything happens for a reason is a phrase that is thrown around a lot. It gets used so much that it has become a cliche, and many people miss its value because they are tired of hearing. Cliche statements are often so real that we wish they were lies so that people would stop saying them. You need to stop and take a moment to think about how powerful the statement is.
 
Often when you're going through something hard and someone says everything happens, you want to slap them because it does not feel real. But once the dust settles and you're not as emotionally connected to the situation, you see things differently. You look back, and you realize how true it is because something terrible ended up being a good thing for your life.

“I trust that everything happens for a reason, even if we are not wise enough to see it.”— Oprah Winfrey

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What You Will Learn in This Article

Why Everything Happens For a Reason Provides Hope 

When you get bad news or something in your life does not go the right way, it can leave you sad and hopeless. Life can feel like it does not make sense and even seem outright unfair at times. You see people you deem as bad, getting everything they want while little ole you have to keep suffering time and time again. 

Everything happens because it provides hope because it helps you feel like there is a plan and a bigger picture. In the Bible, in Romans 8:28, it says, "And we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."

The phrase gets a lot of its roots from this verse. The verse is a reminder that the people who have been called to serve God, everything works out for good in the end because in the Christian faith you are living for your life in heaven and not for your life here on earth so it does not matter what bad happens to you here because it will be made new. 

Outside of the Christian context, everything happens for reasons that help people take a step back from current struggles to understand how this could be a good thing. When it comes down to it, good and evil are all relative terms based on our perspective.


  • People turn to this phrase when life seems unfair 
  • Phrase stems from Romans 8:28 in the Bible which points to a hope in Jesus
  • Everything happens for a reason can help to change ones perspective 

Why Some Don't Like The Phrase Everything Happens for a Reason 

Many people don't like this phrase. There was even a whole book written on this. Many people can't stand this saying. Here are some of the reasons why: 

Some Things Can't Be Made Better 

When someone is in the depth of real dark pain or event, the last thing they want to hear is that everything happens for a reason. Even if it's real and there is a reason to have hope, they may not be ready to start thinking about how this is a good thing. 

For example, someone could lose a child; they are not ready to think about how they may start a foundation in their name that can go on to help many others. In their grieving, they need to go through that process. Once they have gone through that process, they will begin to see the light at the tunnel's end.

Sitting In Unpleasant Feelings is Not Always Bad

Often, people say everything happens for a reason because they don't know what else to say. At the wrong moment, the problem is that the statement can lack the empathy needed to draw people closer. 

What people need during dark times is someone willing to listen and be with them. They often don't need solutions. There will come a time when they will seek answers, and at that point, you can let them know that everything happens for a reason. 

Sitting in horrible feelings gives you time to feel it and process everything better. If you try and move on and not process your pain, it will eventually come out at the worst of times. 

It Can Be Very Insensitive

The last reason that people hate this statement is because it can just be insensitive and rude. It does not matter how true it may be. Just because something is true it does not mean that it always needs to be voiced. 

Pay attention to the person you're speaking to. If they are more on the sensitive side, consider not saying this to them at all. Even if they are not sensitive, don't mention this until you know they have a more positive outlook. 

How Everything Happens for a Reason Can Help You During Hard Times 

1. It Prepares You for a Life That Does Not Always Make Sense

The more you wrap your head around this, the better you understand that things will not always go as expected. The phrase prepares you for a life of unexpected outcomes and unfair circumstances.

If everything happens the way we wanted it to, there would be no reason to say everything happens for a reason. The more you understand that everything happens for a reason, the less surprised you are by the difficulties of life.

2. Your Endurance Will Be Greater

Everything happens for a reason, this gives you hope to keep pushing to find out just what that reason is. No matter how many problems you're seeing in your life, if you know that something good is going to come from it, you start looking for that good+. 

The more you look for the good, the more motivated you are to keep moving forward. All of this builds endurance and the ability to suffer and keep good spirits. 

3. It Can Point You Back to The Bigger Picture

When things go wrong, its a reminder of how little control we have. We all like to think we can control our destiny and death and make things go the way we want, but that is a fantasy.

A lot of life is out of control and in the hands of God. That is why Romans 8:28 makes so much sense to people who follow Jesus Christ. It points back to the fact that God is in control and that we should be living for a life in heaven, not one here on earth.

4. Your Perspective Will Change 

One of the best things about hearing everything happens for a reason is how quickly it can change your perspective. When bad things first occur, all you want to think about or talk about is negative and how it affects you at the moment.

When your perspective shifts, you start to see that everything can be good or bad. Nothing comes without both. Since you have already found the bad, you begin to search for the good in your situation.

5. Reflection Will Be More Important to You 

Once you know that everything happens for a reason, you begin to look back on your life and find proof. You start to notice examples repeatedly of things you thought were terrible, but they ended up being good things once you go far enough from the moment.

Too many people charge forward in life and don't stop to take the time to reflect on how they have gotten to where they are. We are in a rush to move forward, but sometimes peace comes from reflection.

6. You Won't Fall Into Despair

When you have lost all hope, you moved into a place of despair, and it can be tough to backpedal from this place. When you reach despair, you find nothing good in waking up and living. There is nothing worth living for, and you only can see the negative. Everything happens for a reason is a phrase that has kept so many people from falling into that dark place.

Example of How Everything Happens For a Reason

When I was graduating high school, I wanted to get a track scholarship to some of the more prominent NCAA schools. I dreamed of going to places like the University of Florida, the University of Texas, and USC.
There was only one problem; I had not run fast enough to go to those schools.

I felt like Syracuse was my next best option. The coaches brought me out on a visit only to let me know that they didn't have scholarship money for me. I now had no options.

I got a call from a mid-major Big 12 school named Iowa State, and I did not even know where Iowa was. It bummed me out because I was not getting what I wanted and felt I worked for. There were over 100 schools with Division 1 programs, and the only school that wanted me was in Iowa.

I went on my visit, and I loved it, but the state became my home. I met my best friends there, built a fantastic relationship with my coach, became an all-American, made the Olympics, and met my wife there.

I didn't get what I wanted, but everything happens for a reason, and I got something much better. I didn't need 50 offers from schools because the one suggestion I got was exactly where I needed to be.

Conclusion of Everything Happens for a Reason

It's cliche, and it will always be cheesy to tell someone that everything happens for a reason, but that does not mean that it is not valid. Some people can't stand it, and for a good idea so you need to be very careful when you say and how you use it. The important thing is that you always do everything you can to make sure that people who trust you still have hope during a hard time.

A straight line has so much power in it. It can pull people out of despair and teach them how they can endure anything. It can show them the power of reflection and help them see how many times they thought were bad but turned out to be good. It can help them to change their perspective and search for the good in their life.

Ian Warner

About the author

I went from a broken leg to a 2012 Olympian. I have spent the last 15 years building positive habits as a track athlete and entrepreneur. I founded Habit Stacker and dedicated my life to helping people to develop winning habits. I have helped over 5,000 people...

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