One of the ways I’ve been feeding my soul during this season of world-wide suffering is by reflecting on some of the rich Hymn texts throughout church history. The saints of old had a way of thinking deeply and biblically about difficult times and the providence of God. One example of this is William Cowper’s hymn God Moves in A Mysterious Way.
Cowper was no stranger to suffering as he wrestled with deep depression for his entire life. Yet Cowper did just that- he wrestled. He took his sufferings, the Bible, and a pen and grappled with God. In doing so, he produced a time-tested hymn that teaches us to trust our good and sovereign Lord in the midst of suffering.
There are at least 5 Biblical Truths that Cowper’s hymn puts forward for us to embrace in our suffering. Take some time over a 5-Day period to meditate on these biblical truths and you will find in God a refuge for your weary soul.
Day 1 | Embrace The Mystery of God
- God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform;
Deuteronomy 29:29 | Isaiah 55:8 | Psalm 18
- He plants his footsteps in the sea, And rides upon the storm.
Psalm 77:19 | Mark 4:35-41 | Job 28:25-27
Day 2 | Embrace The Sovereign Power of God
- Deep in unfathomable mines of never failing skill;
Romans 11:33 | Psalm 93:5 | Psalm 139:13-18
- He treasures up his bright designs, and works His sovereign will.
Psalm 115:3 | Romans 8:28 | Ephesians 1:11
Day 3 | Embrace The Grace & Mercy of God
- Ye fearful saints fresh courage take, the clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break in blessings on your head.
Exodus 34:6-7 | Psalm 145:8-9 | Ephesians 2:1-10
- Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, but trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence, he hides a smiling face.
Psalm 23 | Genesis 50:15-21 |John 1:14-18
Day 4 | Embrace Hope in God
- His purposes will ripen fast, unfolding ev’ry hour;
Psalm 57:1-3 | Isaiah 46:8-11 | Acts 4:23-31
- The bud may have a bitter taste, but sweet will be the flow’r.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 | Psalm 130 | Revelation 21-22
Day 5 | Embrace Faith in God
- Blind unbelief is sure to err, and scan his work in vain;
God is his own interpreter, and he will make it plain
2 Corinthians 4:1-6 | Mark 9:14-29 | 1 Corinthians 13:12