Mysterious God

William Cowper wrote one my favorite hymns and I keep coming back to it.

Cowper battled deep depression most of his life and poetry was often an outlet to help him cope with his struggles. He placed a title above this hymn, “Conflict:  Light Shining Out of Darkness,” but it’s most known by the first line “God Moves in a Mysterious Way.”

I marvel at Cowper’s attempt to get his poetic arms around the Almighty, Incomprehensible, Sovereign God.  For His ways are higher than our ways. His wonders are beyond anything we can imagine. His grace is infinitely deep, and His purposes stand forever.

May we never lose the wonder of this God of Mystery. The God Who’s revealed Himself through His Word, His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Like Cowper, may we take courage in Christ during our darkest days.

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 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.

Sad Song of Lament

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Tears have been my portion,
Feeding me night and day,
They keep saying, “Where is your God?”
Then their words melt away.

Sighs have kept me breathing,
Filling my lungs with fear,
As they whisper, “Where is your God?”
Yes, why is He not here?

Soul, where is your Hope found?
Oh, why are you cast down?
Why do you wrestle with worry?
Soul, is He not worthy?

Tears taunt me, “Hope is drowned”,
Crushed under their great waves,
God, why have you forgotten me?
Will You not come to save?

Sighs tell me, “keep mourning,”
As I struggle to breathe,
God, why have you forgotten me?
When will all my fears leave?

Soul, where is your Hope found?
Oh, why are you cast down?
Why do you wrestle with worry?
Soul, is He not worthy?

Lord, send Your light of truth,
Lift praises up from me,
Come shout news of exceeding joy,
My only Hope is Thee.

Behind the lines

Based on Psalms 42 & 43, this song reminds us the Christian life is not always happy and joyful with a Sunday best smile. We will have times where we feel distant from God. There will be days of tears, sadness, depression, and grief.

Even when overwhelmed by our circumstances, even when we feel a great distance from God, He is still there. Remember what Christ has done, remember the gospel. Remember Romans 8:28. Remember these Psalms for He is our only Hope. He is our Salvation!

An interesting note:  These two Psalms are actually two halves of a single Psalm and many early manuscripts put them together.  This is evident in the common refrain that unites them (42:5, 11, & 43:5):

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God. (ESV)

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