It Is Well… By Holly Spate


“The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice” (Psalm 97:1).

It is inspiring to see God’s hand moving through his children. It is a blessing to be reminded of His character. He is trustworthy, He is loyal, faithful, and true.

As I listen to the beautiful words from hymns written long ago, my heart is inspired, my soul refreshed. The messages are still so fresh, so relevant for today. Hymns are beautiful poetry set to music, reminding us to remember that: God is faithful, God is loving, God is forever with us.

One such hymn is Horatio Spafford’s “It Is Well with My Soul, 1873.”

It is said Horatio wrote this song after tragedy hit. He had already lost his four-year-old son to scarlet fever, lost much money and property due to a fire that swept through his city, Chicago. Two years after the fire, he decided it would be good for his family to take a holiday. So, he sent his four daughters and wife ahead and planned to meet them two days later. While his wife, Anna, and daughters set sail on the Atlantic, the steamship was struck. Two hundred and twenty-six people lost their lives that day. Horatio would soon learn that all four of his daughters had died, and only his wife had survived.

When he was reunited with his wife, they made a voyage back home. One day, during the voyage, the captain requested Horatio to come to the bridge of the vessel. Pointing to his charts, he explained they were passing over the very spot where the ship had sunk and where his daughters had died. It is said this tragedy compelled him to write the hymn “It Is Well With My Soul.” The first line of this beautiful poem is “When peace, like a river, attendeth my way.”

I had never heard this story before. Although the song is moving, it is even more so when one understands the story… the deep pain, the unimaginable, profound loss that Horatio went through. He and his wife suffered beyond belief.

I would encourage you to read the rest of his story. He and his wife had more children and continued serving God till the day they each took their last breath. I have no doubt when they met Jesus that they each were met with a resounding “Well done, thy good and faithful servant!”

I can only imagine what a homecoming they had meeting their Savior face-to-face and being reunited with all of their children for all eternity.

Many of the hymns we sing today were written from tragedy. Some of these hymns are so powerful and moving they bring tears to the eyes. As sons and daughters of Christ, we can be assured that Jesus holds us through it all… He never leaves our side. There is purpose in our pain, our tragedies, our trials. We have hope in the darkest of night because He is our light. He is our hope. He is our joy. He is our peace… a peace that passes all understanding.

He walks beside us, with us, behind us… He promises to never leave us or forsake us.

Whatever happens in this world…whatever happens in your life… know that His love enables you to be comforted in the storm. His peace provides a way to move forward. His sacrifice provides a bridge that allows forgiveness and salvation. He still gives hope even when all seems lost and deeply dark.

We will not always have an answer or understanding for things that happen in this life, but we’re called to lean on and fully trust the One who does. With child-like faith, we’re to trust Him… in all things, beyond our own understanding.

He is with you now. He has never left your side.

As His child, you can be assured of His promises and that one day you will see Him face-to-face and will forever be with Him.

If you have never accepted His offer of salvation… have never surrendered your life… your heart to Him, please do so today. He loves you and wants to be Lord of your life. We are not promised tomorrow, but for those who have put their trust in Jesus, we are promised a blessed and beautiful eternity forever with Him.

Romans 10:9-10 says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”

Accepting Jesus into your heart is the best decision you will ever make. Don’t delay; ask Him to make you a new creation… to give you a fresh start… to be Lord and Savior in your life.

As you journey today, I hope you’ll be inspired by Horatio’s words as you read his beautiful, profound hymn. I pray it will stir your heart and have a meaningful impact as you read the words and remember the story behind the words.

May you feel God’s presence close as you continue to lean on Him, trust in Him and walk with Him.

It Is Well With My Soul by Horatio Spafford

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.

It is well with my soul,
It is well, it is well with 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!

It is well with my soul,
It is well, it is well with 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.

It is well with my soul,
It is well, it is well with 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!

It is well with my soul,
It is well, it is well with 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, it is well with my soul.