“Ordained” is a wonderful word for describing God’s relationship to what happens in the world. That circumstances are ordained means there is logic behind what happens; it means there is a reason for every thing that happens. If history was ordained, then there was purpose in it. If the future is ordained, it will have meaning.
When we use "ordained" to describe an event in history, we mean that God put it in his plan and then unfolded things, including this event, according to the plan. Ordained history consists of ordained causes and effects, all in their proper places, chained together, tugging forward toward God's planned completion. It’s the same for the future; the ordained future will unfold and then wrap up just as God intends.
Some balk at the idea that all events in history are ordained, thinking this would leave no wiggle room for real human choice. And the thought that God would ordain the bad things that happen gives some the heebie-jeebies—or worse.
I don't know exactly how God's ordination of all circumstances exists alongside real human choice. Scripture gives hints and I have a few ideas, but I'm content to leave most of the grappling to philosophers.
As for God ordaining the bad things that happen to me and mine, this thought gives me comfort and hope. If the events of my life are ordained by God—and they are—then it all, good or bad, has purpose. All circumstances, even those that cause suffering, are bringing about intended results. I won't know all of God's reasons for any particular circumstance, but I can know this: The ultimate purpose for every circumstance is God's own glory (Romans 11:36, Ephesians 1:11-12). What's more, for those who love God, there's another general purpose: All circumstances are working to form a Christlikeness within (Romans 8:28-29).
When you get to the bottom of it, the only alternative to ordained suffering is meaningless suffering. Of the two, it's not ordained suffering that gives me the heebie-jeebies.
“Ordained” is a wonderful word that points to logic, purpose and meaning. It is God's promises fulfilled and plans accomplished, in the past, in the future, and in our lives. It is God's glory and our salvation. "Ordained" is our comfort and hope, too.