Everything happens for a reason.
The phrase above is trivially true. Every thing that happens certainly has a cause. But it is often seen as a piece of centrally true theological reasoning. You lock your keys in your car, “God did it for a reason.” You get gas from over-eating, “It happened for a reason.” You make a bunch of bad decisions that hurt others and famously, “I learned something from it, therefore it must have happened for a reason.”
I submit that in the trivial sense, yes everything happens for a reason.
I then also say that Paul’s argument in Romans 8 assumes and even requires that many evils are meaningless and vain, but that despite their vanity, God can cause them to work out for the ultimate the good of a group of people who love him. That’s the argument. A lot of things that happen are pointlessly evil. That’s what life apart from the revelation of God becomes according to Ecclesiastes: meaningless.
So, while I am thankful that many people, even non-Christians attempt to preserve the dignity of others and of themselves when they are going through trials (by pointing out that it’s clearly happening with some inscrutable divine purpose behind it), I also want to point out that only God can bring meaning out of the pointless evils and lame drudgeries that people are subjected to throughout their lives. The Scripture never says that such things are always caused with good in mind. Though it does state that some events are from God for trials, it seems to also indicate that many evils are frivolously wrought by evil persons and forces in the creation.