“It Is Well With My Soul” – Musical Musings in March

For today’s musical musing, we will need to go back to 1873. It is a hymn you’ll know, recognize and probably love. I want to begin by reading through the words and listening to this great hymn of faith. Please join me.



“It Is Well With My Soul”


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.

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!
Blessèd hope, blessèd 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.


It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.[i]


This particular clip tells the story and history of this beautiful hymn and its songwriter. What a treasure! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8_EfDqF7YI


It is difficult to understand how someone such as Mr. Spafford could be at such peace at the loss of his precious family. But clearly, he was. The only possible way is through Jesus and Holy Spirit leading him through this difficult time.


Is it possible for us to have this same peace? It certainly is. Let me share some of God’s words that lead me to this understanding.


I’ll begin in 2 Thessalonians 3:16 (NIV). “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with all of you.”


We have God’s peace with us at all times. And in whatever situation we face, His peace is with us. His peace is our peace. And with His peace, we can say, it is well with my soul.


But this isn’t the only verse that leads us to this conclusion. Let’s look at Philippians 4:7 (NIV). “And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”


God’s peace is difficult for us to understand. Being at peace during difficult situations is beyond our understanding, but with God it is possible.


How about another verse? Perhaps words from Jesus Himself? “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 – NIV)


When we face troubles, and we will, Jesus becomes our peace (Ephesians 2:14) and His perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3) will overcome all that the world shoves at us. Isaiah 9:6 promises the Prince of Peace. And according to Psalm 119:165 (NIV), we who “love God’s law will have great peace and nothing will make us stumble.”


You see, peace in this world is possible. Even through the difficult times. Through the dark times. We have God’s peace and we can say it is well with our souls.


I recall singing this great hymn at my grandfather’s funeral. It was day of celebration. He had lived a long life (nearly 98 years). He had influenced many. He had been an elder of the Fairfield Church of Christ for many years. He had been a faithful servant of God. Yes, it was a day of celebration.


Through the years I have come to understand God’s peace on a deeper level. And to be honest, I don’t want to live in this world without it. His peace is what helps me sleep at night when terrorists attack, when gunmen kill innocent adults and children, when children are brutally kidnapped and murdered, when people die of starvation around the world, when the life of my grandson slipped away.


I have peace. God’s peace. And it is well with my soul.


Grace and peace be yours in abundance,



[i] It Is Well With My Soul, Words: Horatio G. Spafford, 1873, Music: Philip Bliss


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