Why do we say "God moves in a mysterious way"?

Well-Known Expressions

God moves in a mysterious way

Meaning:

Often used to justify or explain an unpleasant event.

Background:

This proverb is attributed to English poet William Cowper (1731-1800) who worked closely with John Newton in Olney, England for two decades. The result of their work is a collection of 349 hymns including 67 writen by Cowper. The hymn now known as "God Moves in a Mysterious Way" was originally titled "Conflict: Light Shining Out Of Darkness" and is thought to be the final hymn text that Cowper wrote.


Conflict: Light Shining Out Of Darkness

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sovereign will.

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 every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

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