Nov 30

Print this Post

“God moves in mysterious ways his wonders to perform”

It was forty-eight years ago that I first heard of Jude chapter two. It was in a Bible class in the Linda church of Christ in Marysville, CA. The preacher/teacher was Clint Lovelady and someone had asked him where something was in the Bible. He answered, “It is in Jude chapter two.” Being a very young Christian of only a few months, I started looking for Jude, then, chapter two. Of course, I finally found Jude, but not chapter two. This was his way of saying; it is not in the Bible. Through the years I have adopted this fun way of answering such questions.
I have been amazed through the years to see folks who have been Christians for many years, once I have told them something is in Jude chapter two, to see them start thumbing through the New Testament looking for Jude chapter two. You should see their faces when finally they realize what has just happened to them. How many times have you heard, “God moves in mysterious ways and has wonders to perform” or something like it? Do you know where these words appear in the Bible? Yes, they are found in Jude chapter two. Just “Google” the words and see what you find. You will find something, but no book, chapter, and verse.
In fact, I found these words as the heading of a page: “God moves in a mysterious ways his wonders to perform.” Of course, the page never gave book, chapter and verse for the words! Yet, they were put forth as though they were as sure as God himself! How does something become so strongly believed, that it becomes the basic thought of a religion? The implication behind the words appears to be, that God’s plans (whatever is happening at the present time) are beyond human understanding, but God has a reason for everything that happens, however strange they may appear to man. These words also take us beyond the Bible, thus, the events themselves become the authority! But don’t forget, the “mysterious” and “wonders” are beyond the human mind’s ability to comprehend.
Here is a good point to unveil the origin of the words, “God moves in mysterious ways and has wonders to perform.” Well, the words have undergone change through the years as many phrases do. The nearest words to those heard today come from a hymn written by William Cowper in 1774. He wrote: “God moves in mysterious ways / His wonders to perform. / He plants his footsteps in the sea / And rides upon the storm.” Cowper struggled with depression and doubt through the years. The story goes that he decided to commit suicide by drowning himself, so one night he called a cab telling the driver to take him to the Thames River. There is two versions to the story, one is that as they drove toward the Thames a heavy fog came in and the cab driver got lost and could not find the river, while the other says the driver deliberately drove around; at last, which ever the case, Cowper was most surprised to find himself at the steps of his own house when the cab stopped to let him out. Surely God had sent the fog, or at least the cab driver to keep him from killing himself. The conclusion was reached: “Even in our blackest moments, God watches over us!”
It must be asked, what is wrong with this story? First, what do you say to the father and mother whose son or daughter just committed suicide? Where was God? Did God have no plan for him/her? Was God not watching over him/her? Have you not read that God: “… maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt. 5:45). What arrogance to think that I am better than others, that God has a better plan for me than others, or that God has a special plan for me, but not for you! What book, chapter, and verse, do I give for such? Oh, I forgot, we are not talking about the inspired word of God: “God moves in a mysterious way his wonders to perform” is our authority!
Before concluding, do not get the wrong idea, the Christian has blessings the lost do not have, but they are spiritual not physical. Paul wrote: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3). Then, when it comes to salvation, God is no respect of person: “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: (35) But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him” (Acts 10:34-35).
Finally, let these words settle into your mind, as Paul wrote of God: “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4). It is not mysterious, but it is so wonderful!

— Frank R. Williams
Archived Article from November 30, 2014

Permanent link to this article: https://okcsbs.com/god-moves-in-mysterious-ways-his-wonders-to-perform-3/