How God Works In Mysterious Ways And How We Should Respond

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Published by Kenneth Garcia


Co-Founder of Biblekeeper, Author & Theologian

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The old adage “God works in mysterious ways” is often used to explain events or situations that are difficult to understand or explain. It suggests that the ways of God are beyond human comprehension and that some things happen for reasons that are beyond our understanding.

Many people use this phrase to find comfort in times of hardship, as it suggests that there may be a divine purpose behind their suffering. It is also a reminder that we should have faith and trust in God, even when we cannot understand His ways.

Ultimately, this phrase serves as a reminder that there is a higher power at work in the world, and that we should approach life with humility and reverence for the mystery of the unknown.

Key Takeaways

  • Embrace the belief that “God works in mysterious ways” to cultivate trust in a higher plan, especially during challenging times.
  • Through faith, recognize moments of peace, guidance, and awe as indicators of God’s influence in life.
  • Respond to God’s mysterious ways by seeking His guidance, obeying His commandments, and aligning life with His teachings for blessings and fulfillment.

What Does It Mean That God Works In Mysterious Ways?

The origin behind this phrase begins with the famous English poet, William Cowper. After several failed attempts to take his own life, he realized that behind his failures was an invisible hand and a strange man observing him. After years of treatment in an asylum, Cowper met the “Amazing Grace” hymn writer John Newton who encouraged him to use his gift of words for evangelistic purposes.

Finally, Cowper wrote a hymn called “Conflict: Light Shining Out of Darkness” in 1771, which was later published in the Olney Hymnal with the title “God Moves.” The first line of the hymn is where the saying comes from: “God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform; He plants his footsteps in the sea, And rides upon the storm.”

When people say “God works in mysterious ways,” they mean that God’s actions and plans can be difficult for us to understand or predict. We may not always see the reasons behind the events or circumstances in our lives, but we trust that God has a purpose and plan for them. Essentially, it means that in truth, God’s ways are beyond our comprehension and that we should have faith in His plan just like how God worked his way in Cowper’s life.

An oil painting portraying a humble scene of ordinary people experiencing unexpected miracles.

How Does The Lord Work In Mysterious Ways?

The phrase “the Lord works in mysterious ways” is often used to describe events or circumstances that seem beyond human understanding or explanation[1]. It suggests that God’s actions and intentions are not always clear or obvious to us.

Sometimes, there are things that happen that we cannot fully explain, but we trust that God has a purpose and a plan that we may not fully understand. In short, the phrase suggests that God’s ways are mysterious and beyond our comprehension, but we trust that He is always working for our good.

There are many times when the Lord works in enigmatic ways and God weaves remarkable events that only happen for His glory. The story of Joseph, where his brothers sold him into slavery (Genesis 37:12–36), shows us how God can work in mysterious ways—even when bad things happen, God can turn them into good. Joseph’s brothers did something terrible to him, but later he realized that God had a plan for his life.

Joseph’s family moved to Egypt because there was a famine in their land. As Joseph was now in charge of food in Egypt (Genesis 41:41–57), he was able to help his family. Had this not been the case, his family would not have been saved from starvation. And if his family had not moved to Egypt, there would be no story of Moses and the Israelites leaving Egypt many years later.

An illustration of a mystical landscape with shadowy figures, depicting divine intervention in surreal ways.

If God Works In Mysterious Ways, How Can We Know That It Was Him?

If God works in enigmatic ways, it can be difficult to know for certain that it was He who was responsible for something. However, many people believe that they can see signs of God’s influence in their lives through feelings of peace or guidance, coincidences that seem too perfect to be chance, or a sense of awe when they contemplate the beauty and complexity of the world around them.

It is up to each person to decide for themselves whether they believe that God is at work in their lives and to trust in their own faith and intuition.

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How Should We Respond To God’s Ways?

God’s ways are better than ours, and sometimes we may struggle to accept them. However, embracing God’s ways brings blessings and hope, even if we don’t fully understand them. To help you align your life with God’s ways, remember these four words: show, go, trust, and live.

  1. Ask God to show you His ways and teach you.
  2. Then, be wise and discerning: go and follow His ways by obeying His commandments and following His teachings.
  3. Trust in God with all your heart, even when you don’t understand why certain things happen. Seek His plan for us and have faith in His guidance. By seeking to know and understand God’s will, we can live a life that is fulfilling and purposeful.
  4. Live according to God’s will and not the world’s desires. We should strive to live a life that is pleasing to God, by treating others with kindness, love, and compassion.

When you follow God’s ways, you will receive blessings and live forever with Him. It’s not about understanding everything, but about trusting and following God’s ways.

A digital illustration portraying an encounter with divine intervention amidst an enchanted forest.


It is true that we cannot fully comprehend God’s thoughts, desires, and plans—for His ways are much higher and different from ours. God means no ill will, and therefore we should trust Him, for His ways are good even though they may seem illogical and beyond our understanding.

We should embrace God’s ways and humble ourselves, for if we only follow our paths and refuse to listen to His, it could mean evil and lead to death. In reality, we cannot find the answer without the help of the Father, and through the help of our Holy Spirit, let us walk through faith and not by sight.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is God’s mysterious plan?

God’s mysterious plan intricately weaves together providence and free will, guiding individuals towards unforeseen destinations and revealing divine purpose amidst life’s uncertainties. Believers find solace in the belief that even amidst chaos, there exists a higher order beyond human understanding.

In what way can we embrace the mysterious power of the Almighty?

Embracing the mysterious power of the Almighty entails cultivating humility, surrender, and trust in divine guidance. By relinquishing control and aligning our will with God’s through prayer, meditation, and compassion, we open ourselves to His transcendent wisdom and allow His grace to illuminate our path.

Why is God considered a mystery?

God is considered a mystery because His infinite nature surpasses human understanding. Despite efforts in religious and philosophical discourse, aspects of His being remain unfathomable, highlighting the profound depths of His existence beyond complete comprehension.

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