God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.
2 Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs,
And works His sovereign will.
3 Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.
4 Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace ;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
5 His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.
6 Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan His work in vain ;
God is His own Interpreter,
And He will make it plain.
The famous poet William Cowper (born 1731, died 1800) wrote this hymn straight from the heart. It was first printed in 1774 in a little book of " Letters on Religious Subjects,'' which Cowper's friend, John Newton, published while they were living together at Olney (see under No. 11). There are times in the life of every one when the ways of God's providence seem dark and hard to understand. But Cowper's lot was made particularly hard by brain trouble which made him subject to fits of insanity. Under the shadow of one of these dreadful attacks he wrote this hymn of trust in God's providence.