God Moves in a Mysterious Way

GodTube Staff God Moves in a Mysterious Way
"God moves in a Mysterious Way" is a hymn written by William Cowper in the 18th century. This hymn speaks to the glory and transcendence of God, who is beyond our understanding and comprehesion. The lyrics also mention the divine providence of God, who is with us in all things. Read the full text of this hymn and the background story of its author below!

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

2 You fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds you so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.

3 His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding ev'ry hour.
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flow'r.

4 Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan his work in vain.
God is his own interpreter,
And he will make it plain.

Songwriters William Cowper Published by Public Domain

The Story Behind God Moves in a Mysterious Way

According to Hymnary.org, "William Cowper...is regarded as one of the best early Romantic poets. To biographers he is also known as "mad Cowper." His literary talents produced some of the finest English hymn texts, but his chronic depression accounts for the somber tone of many of those texts. Educated to become an attorney, Cowper was called to the bar in 1754 but never practiced law. In 1763 he had the opportunity to become a clerk for the House of Lords, but the dread of the required public examination triggered his tendency to depression, and he attempted suicide. His subsequent hospitalization and friendship with Morley and Mary Unwin provided emotional stability, but the periods of severe depression returned. His depression was deepened by a religious bent, which often stressed the wrath of God, and at times Cowper felt that God had predestined him to damnation.

For the last two decades of his life, Cowper lived in Olney, where John Newton became his pastor. There he assisted Newton in his pastoral duties, and the two collaborated on the important hymn collection Olney Hymns (1779), to which Cowper contributed sixty-eight hymn texts."

Bible Reference:

Colossians 1:26-27 ~ The mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Read more: What Does it Mean That God Works in Mysterious Ways?

Photo credit: GettyImages/Divaneth-Dias


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