I would not be surprised if you have heard some preacher or person say with full conviction: “God moves in mysterious ways His wonders to perform.” Yes, God does do things that often mystified His children, and He still does. You may think this quote comes from Psalms or Proverbs or even Ecclesiastes. But the person who coined this phrase was not David or Solomon. In fact, it is not even in the Bible.

It came from a British poet named William Cowper, who was the son of an English minister. Even though he was gifted from an early age, Cowper had serious mental problems brought on by depression. In fact, he was institutionalized two years for insanity from 1763-1765. Then he was led to Jesus Christ by his cousin Martin Madan who was an Evangelical preacher, and accepted Him as his Lord and Savior. That began his career as a hymn writer. One of his most well-known is the hymn “There is a fountain fill’d with blood.” He became acquainted with John Newton who wrote “Amazing Grace,” and that inspired him even more to write songs of praise to His Lord.

In one poem called “Light Shining out of the Darkness,” Cowper penned these words: “God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform.” In that poem Cowper goes on to write: “

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take, The clouds ye so much dread

Are big with mercy, and shall break In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, But trust Him for His grace;

Behind a frowning providence He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast, unfolding ev’ry hour;

The bud may have a bitter taste, but sweet will be the flow’r.

Blind unbelief is sure to err, and scan His work in vain;

God is His own interpreter, and He will make it plain.

William Cowper went through many ups and downs in his life, but it was his faith in God that kept his hopes alive. As such, he was able to be used of God to bless the church with songs of thanksgiving, honor and praise to his Savior.

We know that King David wrote some of his most touching Psalms when he was going through hard times. So don’t look at your troubles and trials as an omen of defeat, but let your heart and mind concentrate on the light although it may be momentarily hidden by the clouds, and express your faith and hope that soon those clouds will break and the light of God’s Son will shine through to warm your heart with love, joy and peace. Even if He does so in some mysterious way.

About drbob76

Retired missionary, pastor, seminary professor, Board Certified Chaplain and American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Director.
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