God works in mysterious ways

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Perhaps from a poem by William Cowper (who lived 1731–1800), whose first stanza reads, “God moves in a mysterious way / His wonders to perform; / He plants His footsteps in the sea / And rides upon the storm.”

Proverb[edit]

God works in mysterious ways

  1. Expressing confidence that a conundrum has a solution despite it not being apparent.
  2. Commenting that a seemingly unfortunate or unfavourable situation or change may be beneficial later or in the long run.
    Person A: It seems that I'm about to be fired from my job.
    Person B: Well, God works in mysterious ways — maybe it'll be the kick you need to apply to university...

Usage notes[edit]

  • As a figure of speech, it does not necessarily denote the religion (or lack thereof) of the speaker.
  • In various parts of the world, it is sometimes, or mostly, used sarcastically.

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]