Before I offer my scripture, text let me ask, “Is this a biblical truth or a myth?” Is there a chapter and verse for this saying that all of us have heard and many have probably used? God works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform. Is this a declaration of scripture or is it like, “Every tub is going to sit on its own bottom” or “Cleanliness is next to godliness”?
Someone said that if you search this on Google you will find that there are 52,000,000 results. I will not wait for you to research each of those but suggest that it would be an interesting pursuit to ask Google and see what happens. I have a friend who recently said, “I’m trying to figure God out!” He then made the title declaration with a sigh of exasperation in his voice. I immediately thought of the passage I will use as my text:
Isaiah 55:8-9 –“’ For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts’”
I believe that as we read passages such as this, we quickly realize that the way God does things, or even the way that God directs us to do things is not always how we would have done them. There are several references we can and should consider. The matter of Salvation is a beautiful revelation of how different God thinks and acts than we would have.
For salvation to become available for man, God Himself took on human flesh and had to die. Wow! I’m not sure that any of us would have done it that way. I am a father and have sons. I would never sacrifice their lives so someone else could live. That goes against everything that is embedded in the parental DNA, right?
That is one of a myriad of examples. How about when someone persecutes or abuses you. Would you tell someone to love the one that is hurting you or pray for the one persecuting you? Don’t get religious on me and admit it, you would not. Imagine telling someone to go wash seven times in a dirty river in order to be cleansed and healed. We would never have considered blood as the element that would remove the dirtiest stains on a life. Nothing about those things is logical to the human mind because those ways are not our ways, but they are God’s. His ways are different from ours.
Not only are God’s ways different from ours but they are on a higher plane. Simply, God thinks at a level far superior to our thinking. We see the beginning from the end, but God sees the end from the beginning. He knows the outcome before we do anything. I am not saying, He forces us to do His will, but He knows the choices we will make. Have you ever watched a movie that you knew how it would end or watched a ball game that you already knew the final score of? You viewed the game differently than you would have, had you known that information, right? That is the advantage God has over us, He KNOWS!
Now, let’s get to the question at hand, “Does that mean that God really does work in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform?” Let me rephrase that and ask, “Is God’s way of doing things, His working in mystery, a biblical truth or a myth?” We know that His ways are different, and He operates on a much higher plane than we, but does that make His ways mysterious? I don’t mean to leave you dangling but I will for a moment.
Let’s take the word ‘mysterious’ as we proceed. The Oxford Dictionary defines it as ‘difficult or impossible to understand, explain, or identify.’ I suspect that all of us have had God do something in our lives that we could not understand, explain, or identify. Therefore, based on the scripture we used in Isaiah 58 and that definition we could readily conclude that God works in mysterious ways is a biblical truth, not a myth.
Another issue is that we cannot and should not trust our own ways. I hear people say, “I’m my own man or woman.” I have some say, “Give me time and I’ll figure it out.” Sounds good, right? However, it is an idea built on shifting and sinking sand. It is also a bit arrogant and puffed up too. We cannot trust our way of thinking.
I call your attention to Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way that seems right to a man and appears straight before him, but its end is the way of death.” The ways and even the acts of God are so far beyond our pay grade that they seem mysterious and sometimes seem too good to be true, but they are.
The question for our quest is, “How Should We Respond to God’s Ways?” We should ask Him to, “Show me your ways, LORD teach me your paths.” (Psalm 25:4). We should seek to walk in His ways, “Who is wise? Let them realize these things. Who is discerning? Let them understand. The ways of the LORD are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.” (Hosea 14:9). We should Trust Him, “Trust in the LORD will all your heart and lean not to your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6). We should Live in and through Him, “For everything in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – comes not from the Father but the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” (1 John 2:16-17).
Therefore, to answer the title question, yes, God does work in mysterious ways. Although there is not a specific verse for that quote, I believe the teaching of the Bible reveals that God does work in mysterious ways. Mysterious to man but normal to Him. He will often work in a way that is mysterious and even confusing to us, but His purposes are always redemptive.
I conclude with Jeremiah 29:11, “’ For I know the plans have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you hope and a future.”
May you enjoy the rich blessing of the Father as you seek Him and His Kingdom! Have a Great Day!