An ad hoc hypothesis thrown up by Christians when confronted with intractable contradiction in their absurd belief system. It is nothing more than a veiled confession of ignorance from someone who will say anything rather than question or confront their beliefs. When arguing with a believer, hearing this usually means you've won the debate.
"How can an all-loving god condemn so many people to eternal torment in hell?"
"Simple, god gave us a choice to either accept him or reject him."
"But if God cares so much about us, then why does he need to coerce our devotion with the threat of torture? So why doesn't God reveal himself and warn us about it? Why doesn't he set the non-believers straight? Is our having faith so important to him that he's willing to let millions of people be condemned?"
"Uh...God works in mysterious ways!"
I have no idea why that happened.
Yes, I realize your friend died an unnecessary death at a very young age, but God works in mysterious ways.
1. A variation of the phrase "God
moves in a mysterious ways" from the poem "Light Shining out of Darkness" written by William Cowper
after his attempted suicide was foiled by the London fog
2. A phrase used to give hope
1. Joe: God
works in mysterious ways!
Schmoe: Hey, I know where that came from! Aren't I smart
2. Schmoe: My brother died in a car crash
Joe: God works in mysterious ways!