by Pastor Bert Hitchcock
Romans 8:28 is a favorite text for countless Christians: the promise that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him.” Unfortunately, that promise sometimes gets reduces to a blithe “everything will be okay” – which it often is not!
William Cowper was a man for whom almost nothing worked out to be okay: all three of his siblings died in infancy, his mother died before he turned six, he was bullied at school, he fell in love with his cousin whom he was not allowed to marry, he was given to deep depression, several times he had a “nervous breakdown” and attempted suicide, and for his whole life he struggled mightily with the fear that God would never forgive him. And yet this troubled man, wrote a hymn which unpacked the truth of Romans 8:28, like no other exposition. That hymn is entitled “God Moves In A Mysterious Way”.
Life being like a stormy sea,
God’s wisdom being unfathomable,
Our fear of the dreadful clouds of life,
Our experience of God providence seeming to frown at us,
The bitter taste of God’s unfolding purposes,
And our temptation to abandon our faith when it makes no sense.
But that is not just our experience. All those things also characterized Jesus’ agonizing journey toward the cross.
Amidst his mysterious ways, God is moving to work wonders
God’s designs are actually bright and gracious,
God intends to rain down mercy on us,
Though we cannot see it, He is smiling,
What seems bitter now, will prove to be sweet,
And what seems unfathomable will be made plain.
And just as God promised, through of the agony of Jesus’ suffering and death, God’s plan to save us was accomplished.