Yes, and very strongly. However, my perception of the 'reason' is very realistic. I am like a practical dude.
For me, everything happens for a reason because:
a). Every tragedy which has ever happened in my life has made me at least a 100 fold stronger and mentally tougher (thus, every tragedy I encountered was for the reason of making me strong)
b). Every failure I encountered, has taught me some or the other invaluable lesson
c). Every sorrow I have faced has 'emotionally immunized' me from being much affected by that specific kind of sorrow in the future
I think it's mainly a matter of projections and interpretations. After some event occurs, what you project onto it, what you judge to be the implications of it and how you interpret it will determine your perception of it and whether you think it happened for a reason or not.
Most of the time, we don't even see the event for what it is. Instead, we project things which don't actually exist into the event unconsciously, start taking our projections to be the reality and then we mentally react to this projection of ours, which be believe is real and which ironically has nothing of the real reality in it.
Plus, I also believe that in this HIGHLY INTELLIGENT universe, nothing is accidental. However, to realize the relation between the seemingly irrelevant events and elements, we need to shift into a higher dimension of consciousness. It's simply not possible to see the big picture when you are rooted in the average mainstream dimension of consciousness, which, with no disrespect intended - is deluded and hazy.
To simplify, in a general sense - yes, everything happens for a reason since everything which happens is a cause set in motion which has some 'effect' or the other. Therefore, the 'effect' is the 'reason'. And the 'general' undertone of the direction of these chain of events lead to us serving the 'earthly' purpose we were meant to serve during to process, which again has multiple dimensions to it since there is an earthly purpose, a spiritual purpose, a biological purpose etc all of which we simultaneously fulfill through our life time.
So, yep, both practically and spiritually I believe that everything happens for a reason. However, it takes a higher dimension of consciousness to be able to see the big picture and to let the big picture manifest through you, by you being the vehicle which facilitates it's manifestation.
There is no 'free will' OR 'destiny' there is free will AND destiny. However, to let the big picture manifest through you, you need to first know the big picture for which you will need to shift into a higher dimension of consciousness, which will then lead to you realizing your real role or 'finding your purpose'. It's when you have found your purpose and begun serving as the vehicle of manifestation meaning initiated on your journey to serving your life's purpose, that you'll ultimately meet the destiny you were 'meant' to meet.
In other words, free will is the catalyst which dictates whether or not you have everything happen for a reason for you. Since, everything from this perspective, will only happen for a reason when you have aligned yourself with your purpose and started on your journey of walking the path you were meant to walk. -- That is the simplest way I can put it.
I know gets complicated, sounds hoaky and what not but once you experience what it feels like to really be living the life you were meant to live, reality shines hard and solid right in front of you. You then see the commonly overlooked, elusive obvious :)
This is a big kettle of worms. People have been arguing about fate, predestination, free will, etc. since the dawn of time. No, I don't believe there is fate or a wisdom guiding everything that happens. To a certain extent we do make our own reality. Our actions set the stage for a lot of what happens to us and our perception is affected by our own expectations and experiences. A lot of times what you sow is what you reap. I think that phrases like "it's meant to be" often are used to convince us to accept inequity.
Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't... Here's a quote from Forrest Gump that I really like... "I don't know if we each have a destiny, or if we're all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze, but I think maybe it's both. Maybe both is happening at the same time."
I don't. I think things happen because they happen, nothing more. I don't believe in any sort of a predetermined fate.