It Is Well With My Soul…Isn’t It?
Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul! I will praise the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being. Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free; the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous. The LORD watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin. The LORD will reign forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the LORD! – Psalm 146
The hymn below is a wonderful hymn, and so very well known. It is a hymn that, to this day, is difficult for me to sing all the way through with dry eyes. I can rarely think of a time, alone or in corporate worship, when I have not paused during its singing, for fear that I would become so emotional I could not continue.
The fact is, as true, and encouraging and uplifting as the hymn is, it does not always seem well with our souls, does it? Shattered dreams, unholy alliances with sin, distractions of our own creation that cause us to take our eyes off of the only One who truly satisfies the deepest longings of our innermost being.
Christ. Christ alone.
Oh, may we view our disappointments in life in the light of the unwavering truth of the goodness of our God and Savior. May God grant such mercy to our broken hearts such grace when needed, that even when our souls are disturbed and all is not seemingly well, we may be comforted by Him to know that yes, indeed, in Christ, it is well.
by Horatio G. Spafford, 1873
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!
And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.
Quote, ‘…unholy alliances with sin…’
Isn’t that just how it is?
It is a remarkable hymn. Birthed in remarkable circumstances.
We MUST keep in mind that it is well with our souls because of Christ! The perfect One, who was able to ascend to hills where the Father is, has paid the price for all the sins of the Elect and will keep us in His perfect grace until time is no more.
Praise the Lord! For by Him and in Him – it IS well with my soul!
Same effect on me when singing this, Joel, one of my most favorite of hymns that touch me today as deeply as it touched me after the first time I heard it following my conversion 11 years ago; one that will be sung by my brothers and sisters in Christ at my funeral; one I pray the Lord will use to convict those there who know not Christ so that all will be well with their soul, as well. And thank you for your thoughts. God be praised!
Greetings from Wordwise Hymns. Your comments caught my eye this morning because I posted a blog on this hymn today–and it’s one of my very favourites. When Helen Howorth Lemmel (author of “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”) was asked how she was doing, she replied, “I’m fine in the things that matter.” It seems to me that’s a good commentary on Mr. Spafford’s hymn. God bless.
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