Does God really will everything?


So I’ve had this question bugging me for a LOOONG time now. Can it be true that everything that has ever happened has been willed or permitted by God in advance? As in, God permits sin and death, disease, etc… to happen for the greater good of everybody. In the words of Fr. Drexelius:

Never certainly would such infinite Goodness permit so great wickedness in the world, unless it could thence produce greater good, and turn to salvation things which were devised for destruction. God permitted the jealousy of his brethren to exercise its malice against innocent Joseph; but with how great good was this Permission, not merely to his parents and brethren, but to the whole land of Egypt! God permitted guiltless David to be harassed with the most cruel injuries by wicked Saul, but it was to the greatest advantage of David himself and the entire kingdom of Israel. God permitted Daniel, most unjustly accused, to be cast into the den of lions, but it was to his own great good and that of many others. But why do I mention such as these? God permitted His Own Son to be crucified by murderers, but His Permission was for the ineffable good of the whole human race. And so from every Divine Permission there flow the greatest increase to the Divine Glory, and the richest blessings to the human race.

Personally, I don’t hold this belief or doubt it alot. Why?

Because not every bad thing that happens produces good or produces so little good that it is outshined by the bad. For example, sex trafficking: what good is brought out of sex trafficking? Do the victims learn anything? So what if some of them are rescued, many of them will still have to face psychological trauma. Or miscarriages. I’m 200% against killing a baby for no matter what reason but whats so good about misacarriage? Will it strengthen a woman’s resolve or will or something? What about the choice a prolife woman has to face in deciding whether she should live because she has a life to live or whether her baby should die even though if it does live, he will have the chance to become a good person.

What about this? Lets say a major war and massacre happens like the Rape of Najing or the current chaos that is Congo and Somalia. Thousands of people were or are literally raped and murdered. What good does any of that do? Maybe you’ll tell me that some families would get clsoer together because of the persecution or that saintly people would go there and help the victims out making them eligible to go to heaven but what about the people who are already doing evil? Isn’t it better that people do good things instead of being used as an obstacle for others to jump over? Isn’t it better for a murderer to convert instead of being used as the instrument to make somebody a martyr? Isn’t it better for a sex trafficker to turn himself in and expose the entire business instead of being an obstacle preventing someone from achieving freedom?

Or what about the case for Judas Iscariot? If he didn’t betray Jesus, would He still have been crucified? If you answer no, then that would mean either a) God deliberately abandoned Judas to do evil and become evil just for this event to happen in measly way it happened. If this is true, than Judas must have been chosen as an apostle JUST so that he would betray Jesus, or b) Judas became evil on his own without God planning in advance for the betrayal to happen. The diffirence is that both times, Judas became evil on his own but in the first case, God planned it while in the second, God didn’t plan it. Either God is uncaring to some or He is a manipulative jerk.

I’m just saying that not everything is willed or permitted by God for something better to come out of it. I’m saying that God permits evil stuff to happen because He doesn’t love all creatures equally. If He did, He’d make everyone a saint and make them saints in this world (I say make them saints. God rightfully would never bring a complete monster to heaven) but He doesn’t. The Bible even says it outright in Rom 9:11-25, Malachi 1:1-2. At the same time, I believe that not everyone goes to heaven because God specifically wanted Him to go there BEFORE the world ever began or because God always predestined him to heaven or to recieve this type of grace to go to heaven. It’s my belief that with help from the Blessed Virgin Mary, God can be compelled to give graces to people he otherwise would have never given them. In fact, I believe that God Himself doesn’t really care for my conversion and that I only converted into a devout Catholic because of the intervention of the Virgin Mary and Saint Anthony of Padua.

What do you guys think? Can I get some serious answers though? No oh, I’m exaggerating or being manipulative in order to draw people away from the Church, because I studied this subject intensely for three years and have been constantly depressed because of it, like you wouldn’t believe and everyone I have spoken to on this forum knows that I suffer from depression. I am not an atheist in disguise, I am not being sarcastic, I’m trying to find answers. Please answer. Thanks.

Job 38:
1Then the LORD* answered Job out of the storm and said: 2Who is this who darkens counselwith words of ignorance? 3Gird up your loins* now, like a man; I will question you, and you tell me the answers! 4Where were you when I founded the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. 5Who determined its size? Surely you know? Who stretched out the measuring line for it? 6Into what were its pedestals sunk,and who laid its cornerstone,
7While the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God* shouted for joy?
8Who shut within doors the sea,when it burst forth from the womb, 9When I made the clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling bands? 10When I set limits for it
and fastened the bar of its door, 11And said: Thus far shall you come but no farther,
and here shall your proud waves stop? 12Have you ever in your lifetime commanded the morning and shown the dawn its place 13For taking hold of the ends of the earth, till the wicked are shaken from it? 14The earth is changed as clay by the seal, and dyed like a garment; 15But from the wicked their light is withheld, and the arm of pride is shattered.
16Have you entered into the sources of the sea, or walked about on the bottom of the deep? 17Have the gates of death been shown to you, or have you seen the gates of darkness? 18Have you comprehended the breadth of the earth? Tell me, if you know it all.
19What is the way to the dwelling of light, and darkness—where is its place? 20That you may take it to its territory and know the paths to its home? 21You know, because you were born then, and the number of your days is great!* 22Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, and seen the storehouses of the hail 23Which I have reserved for times of distress, for a day of war and battle? 24What is the way to the parting of the winds, where the east wind spreads over the earth? 25Who has laid out a channel for the downpour and a path for the thunderstorm 26To bring rain to uninhabited land,
the unpeopled wilderness; 27To drench the desolate wasteland till the desert blooms with verdure? 28Has the rain a father? Who has begotten the drops of dew? 29Out of whose womb comes the ice, and who gives the hoarfrost its birth in the skies, 30When the waters lie covered as though with stone that holds captive the surface of the deep?
31Have you tied cords to the Pleiades,* or loosened the bonds of Orion? 32Can you bring forth the Mazzaroth in their season, or guide the Bear with her children? 33Do you know the ordinances of the heavens; can you put into effect their plan on the earth? 34Can you raise your voice to the clouds, for them to cover you with a deluge of waters? 35Can you send forth the lightnings on their way, so that they say to you, “Here we are”? 36Who gives wisdom to the ibis, and gives the rooster* understanding? 37Who counts the clouds with wisdom? Who tilts the water jars of heaven 38So that the dust of earth is fused into a mass and its clods stick together? 39Do you hunt the prey for the lion or appease the hunger of young lions, 40While they crouch in their dens, or lie in ambush in the thicket?
41Who provides nourishment for the raven when its young cry out to God,wandering about without food?


It doesn’t answer that God wills every sing event that happens, only that God created the ehavens and earth and all knowledge. Thats what I got from this line of scripture at least.

Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent. The uncreated God creates time from no time. All that has been IS, All that will be IS. Every prayer ever prayed or to be prayed present to God. His will permeates time, but is not constrained by it. God sees it all and pronounced it Good. Look at this from:

“Abandonment to Divine Providence” Jean-Pierre de Caussade…SECTION IV.—In what Perfection Consists.

Perfection consists in doing the will of God, not in understanding His designs. The designs of God, the good pleasure of God, the will of God, the operation of God and the
gift of His grace are all one and the same thing in the spiritual life. It is God working in the soul to make it like unto Himself. Perfection is neither more nor less than the faithful co-operation of the soul with this work of God, and is begun, grows, and is consummated in the soul unperceived and in secret. The science of theology is full of theories and explanations of the wonders of this state in each soul according to its capacity. One may be conversant with all these speculations, speak and write about them admirably, instruct others and guide souls; yet, if these theories are only in the mind, one is, compared with those who, without any knowledge of these theories, receive the meaning of the designs of God and do His holy will, like a sick physician compared to simple people in perfect health. The designs of God and his divine will accepted by a faithful soul with simplicity produces this divine state in it without its knowledge, just as a medicine taken obediently
will produce health, although the sick person neither knows nor wishes to know anything about medicine. As fire gives out heat, and not philosophical discussions about it, nor knowledge of its effects, so the designs of God and His holy will work in the soul for its sanctification, and not speculations of curiosity as to this principle and this state. When one is thirsty one quenches one’s thirst by drinking, not by reading books which treat of this condition.
… Speculation must be laid aside, and everything arranged by God as regards actions
and sufferings must be accepted with simplicity, for those things that happen at each moment by the divine command or permission are always the most holy, the best and the most divine for us.

What can be without the permission of God?


Catechism of the Catholic Church, Sectoin 2, chapter

The answer is yes. This is an element of the Doctirne of the Faith. All Catholics in good standing are required to give the Accent of Faith to it. :thumbsup:

God is good. Bad things do not come from God but are a result of sin. What God does though is make all things right. In other words, He can turn something horribly wrong into something amazingly right.

God unfortunately has taken the fall (as has His son Jesus) for much of the evil in this world. We have to remember that Jesus gave mankind the authority to preach the gospel, “heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons: freely ye received, freely give.” Matthew 10:7-9.

We all have a key part to play in bringing the kingdom of heaven to earth and the “good news” to the world. But most people (christians even) sit back and wait for the mighty hand of God to intervene. God does hear our prayers and intervenes but we must also do out part, by sharing this “good news” and reaching out in love to those around us.

In the Old Testament, Hosea 4:8 God says “my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge”. We would all be better served by getting into the the Word of God to see what God really has in store of us.

God Bless

I’ll give one more example to help make a point. During the 14th Century ish and a little before then, there was great Curruption in teh Church. Truly bad Popes, Simony,
“Pope’s nephews” and you probably know the deal. It was BAD. Now of course history likes to make it worse and seem like the Church ought not to be trusted because of this point in history but thats besides the point. During this time, probably many souls were led away from God. Did God permit this? Yes. Did God will this? No. Did God give each soul the sufficient grace to avoid hell? You bet. At the end of this period, the refformation came. To this day many are still far from the truth because of it. Yet God did not abandon any individaul. Luther did not have to start the refformation. His curruption and the corruption of the Church at the time led to it, but he had a choice. God has used the choices of the individuals of this time period to be an occasion of grace. The counter Reformation defeated most of the corruption. Many great orders and Saints were born. New Theology and Apolagetics emereged. Look, even Catholic Answers itself exists because of Apolagetics that might not exist if it weren’t for Protestants criticizing the Church. So I can’t calculate the souls lost/saved or anything, but I do know that desptie the corruption and the refformaiton, God has brought many goods out and will continue to do so. He did not cause the evil, but he allowed it and found a way to work with man’s evil choices in order to accomplish His divine plan..

I understand fully why there would be confusion, but remember that we do not know everything. We lack the knowledge that God has and His view on everything. We must remember that all that God does is perfectly willed by Him and that everything that He allows is willed passively by Him. He allows evil for a greater good. But remember we cannot see that good in each case. The good God brings out of evil is something we likely won’t see until eternity. We can look at the good that God brings out from evil in general, specific evils, and specific events. In each case, God has a plan in mind. In the end however, the ultimate plan of God is to “Show forth His goodness and share in His happiness” so that God may be “All in all.” According to our Faith therefore, God’s ultimate plan in which He allows an evil does not necessarily mean an immediate outcome. Rather, in some way, after the Last Judgment, we will see why God allowed evil. But in the end, remember God’s ultimate plan and His concern for our salvation.

Hope this is helpful :wink:

Isn,t this really a two part question? What i mean is Gods will or God allowing things to happen. I see Gods will as him deciding to make someting happen.I see his allowing as God giving us the free will to do something. Example: I am choosing to cross a dangerous intersection in rush hour knowing i may get hit and low and behold i do. Lets say i should die from my injuries, but it is Gods will that i survive. He allowed me to make a choice but at the same time his will was for me to survive. I think God is fully aware of what of decisions you will make and allows you to choose them but his will is present at all times. Wow i think i may be confusing myself!!! Sorry nott sure if this helps:):banghead:

For God then, the ends justify the means?

I believe this can answer your dilemma:
Authority of believers

About Judas: God didn’t plan him to be rebellious. It’s his choice. If you follow all events involving him from beginning, you’ll see that his character was greedy. Jesus had warned him, but he simply ignored it. But as all-knowing God, God certainly know from beginning what Judas would do. Just because God always honor His own words (that He gave freedom to man), He let Judas choose his own way.

Now the important point: God is not bound to time (time is part of His creation). He know the future. He can laid plan which 100% working as He know the end result. But the result itself is consequence of human free choices. Somehow it’s hard for us to comprehend this since we are bound to linearity of time.

No, God allows evil and error, but never insists through his will that it happen. He accounts for the bad that all have and will do and knows and brings about its full correction. There is nothing for God to justify in this means and all things He brings to a right and just end.

You again? Anyway, even as someone whose been suffering a crisis of faith and who isnn’t exactly too fond of being religious right now, I don’t think the end justifies the means for God so much as bad stuff just happens and He sees the chance to do good from them and takes it. At the same time, I findit difficult how th all knowing God could have forseen the evil certain people will do without acknowledging what good it did to the saints.

What do you know about God’s will? Sorry for being so rude but what do you know? Are you just going to sit doing nothing like those idiotic sedevacantists or would you clobber a pedophile if you saw him hitting on a girl? Would you sit back and relax if you saw a man dying on the street? How would you react if suddenly, Go decided to kill 60% of the world’s population in 3 days?

Thing is, if for every choice I do God has to come in and decide the outcome, I would not have any personal freedom. I don’t want that, I want to be able to make my own good decisions with their own outcome. What if God’s will is something I don’t want? What if I want to become a Priest but God wants me to marry or vice versa? Would you give up your dream just because God suddenly came out of the blue one day and told you to become something you don’t have any attraction to? Isn’t God’s way fullfilled irregardless of job or proffession because you’re still doing good in said proffession?

Another thing, I WANT to understand God’s plans and way of thinking, at least part of them because I don’t want to live a life without knowing what it’s current state is. I don’t know whether God loves me or not. I even believe that I can with help from the Blessed Virgin make God love me and acknolwedge me as His son by Mary’s influence but still, abandoning your creation to a life of sin is still bad. So the idea that I have to let every bad thing happen in life without acting upon them doesn’t appeal to me at all.

I never implied that God did anything other than permit evil.

In order to preserve free will – the ends, God permits men to do evil – the means. It seems an inescapable conclusion to me then, that as far as God’s will is concerned, the ends justify the means.

In a sense you could say so but not really. This phrase implies that the “means” are somehow immoral or bad.

God is permitting evil for a good purpose, but there is no evil means that is justified by the ends. The end is not free will and the means is not God permitting men to do evil. God permiting men to do evil does not cause free will itself, so I think that you have the ends and means mixed up here. I would put it like this:

End- Have men choose to love God (and merit eternal life)

Means- Free will (makes men able to choose), Grace (enables man to perform supernaturally good actions).

The End is obviously good, loving, and fully part of God’s plan. Free will itself can be considered objectively good and a gift. It contributes to man being made in God’s image. Grace is of course a good, as it is a participation in the Divine life and it was merited by Christ. Nothing evil to be justified so far. The evil comes in when MAN rejects grace (a good) and misuses free will (a good) for his own purposes to act contrary to the end (another good) for which God has made man and made the means. So it is man from where the evil originates and it is only passively willed by God, in other words allowed by God, for a greater good or for some purpose. So the good end and the good means justify a side effect or alternative outcome in a sense. But in another sense, the alternative outcome although an evil is itself used for some good. For example, I use my free will to commit sin. Okay, God allows the sin but the bad effect (sin) itself is not just left there and God says “Well I let him have free will sooooo…” on the other hand God actually says “Yes I let him have free will and He misused it and I will allow this but I will still use the evil he has created for good” So God uses evil, but this is not the same thing as an evil means. It would be as if my son did something wrong and I let him face the consequences or I used it to teach him a lesson or something…what he did wrong would have been a “bad” thing but still me using it for some good purpose is not me using a “bad” means or using the ends to justify the means because I did not cause the bad, I did not create the evil means that needs to be justified.

However, even if you want to look at it as though the end justifies the means, there is no reason that God cannot act this way (I’m not saying he does and in this case I think he doesn’t)…but remember: It is moral for the “end to justify the means” if we understand this to mean in the context of the double effect. Morally omissions are generally not intrinsically immoral therefore permiting something for a greater good can be justified in some sense, but that’s an entire seperate moral theology discussion.

Once again, if you haven’t read my above posts, I suggest looking into St. Faustina’s diary on Divine Mercy. Here is a link to some quotes: (well the link is down but if it ever comes back. If not just google search it)

I am the least of His brothers.

God reveals Himself to the humble under the most lowly forms, but the proud, attaching themselves entirely to that which is extrinsic, do not discover Him hidden beneath, and are sent away empty.If Jesus is our older brother How is it we do not know the simple, evident Will of God Our Father.

From Blessed Pope John Paul II in Crossing the Threshold of Hope we read

"The world is not able to free man from suffering; specifically it is not able to free him from death. The entire world is subject to “precariousness,” as Saint Paul says in the Letter to the Romans; it is subject to corruption and mortality. Insofar as his body is concerned, so is man. Immortality is not a part of this world. It can come to man exclusively from God. This is why Christ speaks of God’s love that expresses itself in the offering of His only Son, so that man “might not perish but might have eternal life” (Jn 3:16). Eternal life can be given to man only by God; it can be only His gift. It cannot be given to man by the created world. Creation-and man together with it-is subject to “futility” (cf. Rom 8:20).
“God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved…”

This is the will of God. That none should perish.

Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence
by Fr. Jean Baptiste Saint-Jure & St. Claude de la Colombiere

Treating of the Will of God St. Thomas, following St. Augustine, teaches that it is the cause of all that exists. 1 The Psalmist tells us that “all that the Lord wills He does in heaven and on earth, in the seas and in all the deeps.” 2 Again in the Book of the Apocalypse it is written: "Worthy art thou, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for thou hast created all things, and because of thy will they existed and were created. " 3 Hence it is the Will of God which from nothingness drew out the universe with all its grandeur and all that lives in it, the earth with all that is on it and beneath it, all creatures visible and invisible, living and inanimate, reasonable and without reason, from the highest to the lowest. If God then has produced all these things, as St. Paul says, according to the purpose of His will, 4 is it not supremely right and reasonable as well as absolutely necessary that they should be preserved and governed by Him according to the counsel of His will? And how could a thing remain, unless you willed it; or be preserved, had it not been called forth by you? 5 But the works of God are perfect it is written in the Canticle of Moses. 6 They are so well done that God Himself, whose judgment is strict and righteous, found when He had created them that they were good and very good. 7 It is quite obvious that He who hath founded the earth by wisdom and hath established the heavens by understanding 8 could not show less perfection in governing His works than in creating them. So, as He is careful to remind us, if his Providence continues to have care of all things, 9 it is in measure and number and weight, 10 it is with justice and mercy. 11 Neither can any man say to Him, Why dost thou so? 12 For if He assigns to His creatures the end that He wills, and chooses the means which seem good to Him to lead them to it, the end He assigns them must be good and wise, nor can He direct them towards their end other than by good and wise means. Therefore do not become foolish 13 the Apostle tells us, but understand what the will of the Lord is, so that doing it you may receive the promise, 14 that is to say eternal happiness, for it is written the world with its lust is passing away, but he who does the will of God abides forever. 15

    Nothing happens in the universe without God willing and allowing it. This statement must be taken absolutely of everything with the exception of sin. ‘Nothing occurs by chance in the whole course of our lives’ is the unanimous teaching of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, ‘and God intervenes everywhere.’ I am the Lord, He tells us Himself by the mouth of the prophet Isaias, and there is none else. I form light and create darkness; I make peace and create evil. I, the Lord, do all these things.

All things are ordered toward our salvation.


First this is trying to fit God into a human temporal experience of doing something against the normal laws of morality to have a good come about. So, first of all God doesn’t fit in this temporal framework. Yet, even if we overlook this I still have problems with this.

Second the allowing the action of a man doing evil is the same thing as giving the man free will. These being one in the same it’s very difficult to say what is the “means” and what is the “ends”.

Third if I must separate them in what is the “means” and what is the “ends” then I’d say God has granted man the free will to allow man’s evil actions to be chosen. Therefore the free will, the good granted by God, is the means and this good requires no justification, but it is man’s evil acts that are a result and “the ends”, These evil acts of man are in need of justification; hence, God supplies justification in the death of Jesus on the cross.

So, I conclude that in any of three ways I show that the phrase “as far as God’s will is concerned, the ends justify the means” doesn’t make any sense in relation to God’s will of freedom for all, even evil, acts of men.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit