God Moves in a Mysterious Way

Our (Redeemer Church’s) Minister of Worship, Gary Brumley, has arranged an old him of William Cowper’s, “God Moves in a Mysterious Way,” which our assembly has enjoyed singing as we walk our way through Ecclesiastes. Lately, it has been both a song in my heart and fuel for my prayers throughout the week. I have provided a link (here) for you to listen to a demo as you carefully read the lyrics below. It is a great joy for me to see the Lord gift musicians like Gary who seek to saturate the church with sound doctrine in song. What a great opportunity I have to make this post #100. May your ears and heart be blessed.

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.
You fearful saints, fresh courage take:
The clouds you so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.

O, bless the Lord with heart and soul,
Let all within me sing
And trust the wisdom of my God,
My Father, Lord, my King.

With deepest wisdom, highest love,
And never failing skill
He masterminds His bright designs
And works His sovereign will.
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

O, bless the Lord with heart and soul,
Let all within me sing
And trust the purpose of my God,
My Father, Lord, my King.

Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan his work in vain;
God is his own interpreter,
And he will make it plain.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

O, bless the Lord with heart and soul,
Let all within me sing
And trust the goodness of my God,
My Father, Lord, my King.

Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
God hides his smiling face.

Original Words by William Cowper (altered). Public Domain.
Additional lyrics and music by Gary Brumley. © 2007 New Moniker Music.



29 Responses to “God Moves in a Mysterious Way”

  1. Ched Says:

    This is a good song.

    My favorite part is the refrain, “Behind a frowning providence
    He hides a smiling face.”

    I’m glad to be able to sing it corporately with our church family.

  2. Bret Rogers Says:

    Yes, that is a great refrain, Ched!

    I also appreciate the stanza which speaks of scanning God’s works in vain, because so very often I struggle with the very unbelief it speaks of, hence my frustrations, murmering, etc. This song beckons me to look to God in the midst of EVERY circumstance, and despite its difficulty or at times even seeming pointlessness, see his face, his design, and his wisdom; for God who designs ALL things, persons, events, etc. interprets them according to his word. In this I ought to find rest, joy, comfort, and sustanance, always.

  3. Billy Marsh Says:

    I also was excited to see Gary put music to it for corporate worship even though I was a little jealous since I had already done the same thing here at the house. I even had my own chorus made up for it, but I guess I’ll just have to be the better man and let him play his on Sundays. I love this song and it is so rich with theological truth and application.

    Anyone who has ever faced any adversity would have to be stone-cold to sing it without having to hold back the river of tears from flooding. I first encountered the song in Piper’s book “The Hidden Smile of God” on his section on William Cowper. I later asked my music director at the church we were attending if he could include it in the repertoire; he declined and said that it wasn’t a song meant to be sung in worship. Praise God that we are part of a different kind of church where God’s providence and loving sovereignty are “smiled” upon, and sung to him as qualities which show that our Lord is worthy of worship.

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