It is well with my soul, or When peace like a river…
For the past few days there has been a hymn on my heart. I have been humming the tune, and singing the few lines I know, which is just the chorus. Not being very familiar with the words of the song I decided to look it up in one of the hymnals I own.
Here it is.
When peace like a river attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; What ever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, “It is well, it is well with my soul.”
My sin- O 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!
And, Lord, haste the day when the 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.
Chorus: It is well with my soul, It is well, it is well with my soul!
I have not the words to express the joy that filled my heart with the words of this song, especially the second verse! How glorious it is to know that our sin is nailed to the cross, we have not to bear it any more!
I have known the story behind this hymn written by H.G. Spafford, how he suffered great tragedy in his life. His only son died at four years old and in the same year he experienced financial ruin in the great Chicago fire of 1871. Then in 1873 his wife and four daughters traveled to Europe on a ship that sank- drowning all four of his daughters. He received a telegram from his wife that stated, “Saved alone. . .” As Spafford traveled to join his wife he passed near were the ship carrying his daughters had sank. It was here that he wrote the song “It is well with my soul”.
Knowing the history of this hymn, and occasionally humming the chorus would often bless me. But it was not until I actually read the words of the song that my soul was filled with great wonder and joy over flowing! How great a salvation we have that these words could be written at such a time of sorrow and grief. That rather than having his grief point inward to himself, he allowed his grief to point upward to the Hope he possessed in Christ!
How great a Savior to put the faith and assurance of those words in the heart of a man!
Tomorrow is Easter, the day we commemorate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For most this is probably all they know, and it might just be a blessing to them. But, O how much greater the joy if they would but get to KNOW Him, and the if Words he spoke filled their hearts and soul. How much greater the joy to know that Christ died for them! He hung in their place upon the cross bearing the weight of the burden and shame of their sins. For their sins, for our sins. For your sins, for my sins. He paid that price which we could not.
Colossians 2:13,14 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
He hung on the cross, crucified. He bled, beaten, bruised, offered up as a sacrifice, and then He died.
But wait . . . What is this?
Mark 16:1-6 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.
He is risen! He is alive! Halleluiah!
This is the reason a man can write, believe, and sing . . .
“Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord, O my soul! It is well with my soul, It is well, it is well with my soul!“