It is well with my soul. There are some days…some seasons in life, when that is that is all you can say. But it is also the best you can say.
It Is Well With My Soulhas long been one of my favorite hymns. It was written in 1873 by Horatio Spaffordfollowing the drowning deaths of his four daughters that occurred when the ship they were on sank. That is really all I knew of his story, but after doing a little research I discovered that he had one traumatic event after another throughout his life. Yet he could write this beautiful hymn that has helped sustain so many of us in dark days. I love the theology of this song…that no matter what happens in this world, I can know for certain that this is not my home. I am just passing through, and one day I will live with Jesus in Heaven.
When you are stripped of everything in this material world. When life slams you in the face and you didn’t see it coming. When you have endured months and even years of a trial that seems to have no end, when life seems hopeless, can you say, “It is well with my soul?” Because really, that is all that really matters. It is the most important thing you can ever say. When the 6:00 news alternately makes you scratch your head or shudder in fear, when the only voice you have is your one little vote, can you say, “It is well with my soul?” When the doctor gives you a dreaded diagnosis, when you have run out of treatment options, when the miracle you prayed for seems like it is not going to happen, is it still well with your soul? When you feel forgotten, rejected, and alone, do you know all is well with your soul?
When life is good, when you have the world by the tail, when you have love, health, and prosperity, can you say, “It is well with my soul?” Sometime I think it is harder when things are going well. I remember a friend I used to have when we lived in another city. I have lost touch with her, but occasionally I wonder how she is doing. When I knew her she was happily married, had great kids, lived in a big house, and had a job she loved. One day I tried to talk to her about Jesus. About her soul. She told me that her life was good and she didn’t want to rock her boat. Somehow she had the idea that if she let God into her life she was signing on for trials. I’ve thought a lot about that and in all honesty she may have been right. God doesn’t just save us and leave us where we are. He wants to refine us, to make us more Christ-like, But she would have walked through any future trials with a God who loves her and has a plan for good for her.
I can tell you in my life, my biggest growth spurts have occurred as a result of trials. That is where my faith has grown. I haven’t had a Horatio Spafford life. In fact, over all I would say life has been good. But there have been days, seasons, when I had to come right up to a hard truth: I am not in control! There have been times when I have had to say, “Not my will, but thine.” And then I’ve had to let go and trust in God’s goodness. Even in those dark, scary moments, I could say, “It is well with my soul.” If life gives me the very worst it has (Oh and I hope it never does! The mind can conjure up some horrible situations,) even if I am stripped of everything, I know it is well with my soul. This is not the end. I have a home in Heaven with Jesus, who will make all things right.
Can you say those words? It is well with my soul? If not, I hope you will consider what the Bible has to say. God loves you and has a plan for your life, but there is one thing that separates you from God and that is sin. Welcome to the human race, for the Bible tells us that we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). And to make bad news worse, the Bible tells us that the price for our sins is death. That is what we deserve; but God has given us the free gift (we didn’t earn it) of eternal life because our sin debt was paid by the death of Jesus. Horatio Spafford said it well:
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
If you are not sure that all is well with your soul, I urge you to settle that matter today. Payment for your sins has already been taken care of. Just talk to God from your heart. You might pray something like this, although the words are not as important as the intent of your heart:
“Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I do not deserve eternal life. But, I believe You died and rose from the grave to make me a new creation and to prepare me to dwell in your presence forever. Jesus, come into my life, take control of my life, forgive my sins and save me. I am now placing my trust in You alone for my salvation and I accept your free gift of eternal life.”
If you have prayed that prayer, then you can sing along with Horatio Spafford and millions of other Believers: It is well with my soul.