We Christians are pretty good at our pithy statements about faith and about God. One of the dichotomies of life is our certainty and knowledge of some things and our uncertainty about other things. There are moments in life where we can explain exactly what happened and then there are moments that should leave us speechless. However few of us are ever comfortable with silence and the lack of an explanation so we offer up something. Maybe you have found yourself in an unexplainable situation and the only thing you could offer is “God works in mysterious ways.” But does God really work in mysterious ways or is that something we say to explain things we don’t fully comprehend? Take a moment to read Isaiah 55:8-9 and Romans 11:33-36. At first glance the scriptures seem to say something similar – there is a certain mystery about God’s ways. Now go back and read the verses before and the verses after and see if you gain a different perspective.
I invite you to journey with us this week as we seek to broaden our perspective on the so-called “mysterious ways of God.” The following is our Going Deeper devotional guide for this week. As we each participate in the daily reflections maybe together we will find some clarity and understanding of God’s ways.
Monday: read Psalm 136
The Psalmist recounts the many works of God on behalf of the Hebrews. He retells the story of Moses leading the people out of bondage – a living example of God’s way of salvation. God’s salvation is a real part of your life – have you praised God lately for it?
Tuesday: read Hosea 14:9; Psalm 75:1-3
The prophet Hosea proclaims that God’s ways are right. This implies that the prophet knows God’s ways personally and communally. The Psalmist declares that Israel experiences oppression as a result of God’s judgment but that God’s plans for deliverance at just the right moment. Do you see how God is at work sometimes through judgment and sometimes through deliverance? Is this evident in your life?
Wednesday: read Psalm 145:15-19; Psalm 26:3-7; Psalm. 111
God is the provider; especially for those who are hungry. God’s hand opens and provides satisfaction. The faithful acts of love are apparent, right before the Psalmist and so he sings a song of praise to God and about God. How have you seen or experienced God’s provision this week? Did you sing a song of praise?
Thursday: read Psalm 40:5; Psalm 66:5-7; Psalm 92:1-5; Daniel 4:37
God’s favor is boundless; it overflows and is beyond comprehension. But still it is a reality and the Psalmist invites others to come and see – to experience it. This causes humanity to praise God for God’s favor; even a pagan king praised God. Have you experienced the boundless favor of God recently? Have you invited someone to experience it as a reality in their lives so that they might praise God as well?
Friday: read Psalm 86:8-10
God is a wonder-worker; human works cannot compare to what God can and does do for us. What marvelous work has God preformed for you? How did you give thanks and praise to God for what God did or is doing?
Saturday: read Habakkuk 3:1-19
The prophet Habakkuk lived and preached during troubling times. Still the prophet knew from experience that God would not let the people continue in exile. Instead God would once again rescue God’s people because God is a deliverer. If you find yourself in a time of trouble, stress or anxiety what is your prayer? Maybe instead of focusing on why, try praying that God will be present in delivering you from this time.
Prayer Focus: praise God for being active in this world as a deliverer; in troubling times God is not mysteriously absent or working behind the scenes; God is a real and present help for those in need.
Blessings for the journey.