And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
- Romans 8:28
Years ago, a youth group gathered in their church parking lot preparing to depart for their annual gathering, a winter retreat to a camp and conference center. As the snow continued to fall and the weather report grew worse, the trip’s leaders made a difficult decision to cancel the trip. Everyone was disappointed. The kids pressed their leaders to go. The leaders, to their credit, resisted the pressure. To keep everyone safe, they had to cancel.
The next morning, the weather cleared. The leaders gathered the group and headed out for an abbreviated trip. When they arrived, they saw a horrible sight. The roof of the building in which they were slated to stay all weekend had collapsed the night before, under the weight of the snow! Yes, initially, the leaders’ decision to postpone was a source of discouragement. In time, it was revealed as the providential protection and provision of God.
Similarly, when our hopes and plans are frustrated, it’s easy to lose heart. We’re tempted to view our disappointments as signals that God is either against us or indifferent to us, not for us. That’s not true. God is always for his children. Sometimes, what initially appears only as a problem is later revealed as a means of God’s provision, even protection.
William Cowper, the English poet and hymn writer, testifies to this in his hymn, God Moves in a Mysterious Way. As you begin your day, reflect on these words.
God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sov’reign will.
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flow’r.
Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.
Child of God: Remember that God works in all things for the good of his people, those he’s called according to his purpose. God is never indifferent to you, his child. Even in the face of disappointment, when God seems opposed to our best, take heart: God is always working not only for his glory, but also for your good. "Behind a frowning providence, He hides a smiling face."
If you'd like to subscribe to All Things New, a workweek devotional, click here! You can unsubscribe at any time.
SOURCE: Lyrics to God Moves in a Mysterious Way (Public Domain)