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Friday, July 30, 2010

Does God Work in Mysterious Ways?

Often, I hear people spouting the cliche, "God works in mysterious ways." It's raises an eyebrow for me as people use it during the darnedest times - like when they don't win the lotto, or their plan for the church gets rejected by the top brass. Or when they get a gut feeling that they avoid riding a certain bus, then they learn that the bus had an accident later. Yes, sometimes God's ways seem mysterious to people.

However, the saying does not come from the Bible. It comes from a poem written by William Cowper in the 18th century. His poem may be inspired indeed. But the poem's title and first lines have been among the most cliched and misused religious slogans of all time. In addition, people may quote it as a Bible saying. They should be careful of that. It is not in the Bible.

There are of course some sayings not in the Bible that are still in line with Christian belief. Among the ones I prefer are "Cleanliness is next to godliness," "Nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa (with God is mercy, with people is action)," and "God helps those who help themselves." I prefer those sayings that remind people of their own responsibility to act, and never like one should pray to God and wait for manna to fall the next day. "Let go and let God" for example has its applications at times, but I believe it is a very misused slogan.

I'd rather not overuse sayings or use them out of context. But on "God works in mysterious ways," I believe that if you really know God, he or his ways won't be mysterious to you. It's only mysterious to you when you don't agree with his ways or don't get it. Basically, human pride gets in the way, you don't get it, and feel that God's way is mysterious to you. But if you get it, you won't think that God works in a mysterious way again. It's just that he works for your own good.


  1. Hey, Chino : i've come across your name in AP; evidently you participate very regularly & actively in that site. So i decided to check out the"Chinocracy" link in BMGC. I just wish to say, in relation to this article,& also to the previous one (about the error in blaming God), that you seem to have been exposed to Sunday School. What you have written in these two articles (most of it anyway) are Biblically correct. I appreciate that. Thanks for sharing this perspective...sorely needed in these trying, insecure times in & of which you write.

  2. Hey, A.Y., thanks for visiting AP and my blog. My family's Catholic, but I've been led by my own soul-searching to a Protestant-evangelical church, and that's the belief I hold now, with the "salvation is a gift and not earned" doctrine.

    I'm troubled though that even organized religion has been infected with bad beliefs, and so I'm writing to help correct these. Thanks again.

  3. Ho,Chino: if i may be a bit "doctrinaire" (may be too early & presumptuous of me to be "personal" in my comments, it is a blessing to me to follow blogs (other than those emanating from openly Christian sites)with a correct perspective, & by that i don't mean viz.organized religion. By all means writing to help correct these unfortunate misconceptions/misperceptions about our relationship with God is a meaningful endeavor; most will call this a ministry. Perhaps from time to time, i could pitch in my 2-centavos' worth? God bless you young man (at least i think you are, relative to me).