It Is Well

It Is Well

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There is an old hymn with a chorus that reads, “It is well, with my soul.” Life in this world is navigating from one disaster to the next. Today we are talking about being well in our heart.

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I have been going over past messages and teachings we have shared. We talk about hope often. There is a reason for that. One of the greatest things we need to function and thrive in life is hope. Everywhere you look today on the street, in the market, sometimes at home, we see people who need hope.

Hopelessness is not healthy and is a result of focusing on our troubles and ailments. We lose hope when we dwell on what is going wrong or the injustice that seeps into everything in life. This clouds our judgment and our view of life.

Story of Horatio Spafford

I came across a blog online by Loren Lung that summarized the life of Horatio Spafford. Horatio is the author of the great old hymn, It Is Well With My Soul.

Horatio and his wife, Anna, were prominent people in 1860’s Chicago. As well as being a lawyer and business man, the Spaffords were also supporters and close friends of D.L. Moody, the famous preacher.

In 1870 things started to go wrong. The Spaffords’ only son died of scarlet fever at the age of four. A year later, the Chicago Fire destroyed all their real estate holdings on the shores of Lake Michigan.

Horatio decided to take his wife and four daughters on a holiday to England to get away from their troubles and to help D.L. Moody on his evangelistic tour of Britain. The Spaffords traveled to New York in November of 1873 to catch a French steamer to cross the Atlantic. At the last minute, a business development forced Horatio to stay behind. He saw his family onto the ship and made plans to catch up with them later.

On November 2nd, 1873, the ship carrying the Spaffords collided with an English vessel. It sank in only 12 minutes, claiming the lives of 226 people among them were his daughters, Annie, Maggie, Bessie, and Tanetta. Only his wife, Anna, was spared. She sent a telegram to her husband which read, in part, “Saved alone. What shall I do?”

Upon hearing the terrible news, Horatio Spafford boarded the next ship out of New York to join his bereaved wife. The captain of the ship had called Horatio to the bridge and said, “A careful reckoning has been made and I believe we are now passing the place where the ‘de Havre’ was wrecked. The water is three miles deep.” Horatio then returned to his cabin, buffed by the seas and his grief, and penned the lyrics of his great hymn.

Grief and the Feeling of Hopelessness

I cannot begin to understand the grief and despair that Horatio felt at that moment. He must have had an overwhelming sense of hopelessness. Yet, he went to his cabin and wrote the hymn that we know so well.

Horatio, no doubt, sought the Lord and found strength, comfort, and hope in God’s word, the Bible. Psalm 46 summarizes the reason the Christian has hope even in the face of disaster, ruin, and death. We’re going to look at three aspects of Psalm 46.

God Is With Us

Let’s read Psalm 46:1-3.

Psalms 46:1-3

(1)  For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to alamoth. A song. God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  (2)  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,  (3)  though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

In this first part, we read that God is with us. When God is with us we need not fear. The Apostle Paul teaches us that when God is for us, who can be against us? The psalmist here is telling us that God is our strength and is always with us. He is always ready to battle the schemes of the devil and help us. One of the biggest schemes of the devil is to steal our hope. He does this by making us afraid and presenting us with worry and doubt.

God is the god of the universe. He is the creator of all and He loves each and every one of us. We need not fear anything when we focus on Him. No matter the calamity we face we can be sure that God is with us and will bring us through it. It is well when we believe God is with us.

God Is On The Throne

Let’s continue by reading Psalm 46:4-7.

Psalms 46:4-7

(4)  There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.  (5)  God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.  (6)  Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.  (7)  The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Rest assured God is on the throne. This portion of the psalm paints a picture. Some refer to it as Heaven, others look to it as what the new earth will be like after the destruction of the devil. In either case, these verses teach us that God is in control. He is the one who directs the order in life.

Nations and kingdoms rise and fall through time. We are easily distracted by the politics of it all sometimes. The Bible teaches us here that God can destroy all the politics, all the disorder, all the schemes of the devil with his voice. It is well when we understand and accept that God is on the throne.

There Will Be Peace

Let’s finish reading Psalm 46:8-11.

Psalms 46:8-11

(8)  Come and see what the LORD has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth.  (9)  He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.  (10)  He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”  (11)  The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

God will, one day, take back what He has allowed the devil to control and pervert. One day God will destroy all that the devil was tried to build on the earth. God will bring true peace to the earth and the hearts of all mankind. On that day we can be sure that He will destroy the evil and the weapons of evil.

On that day, we will exalt God. On that day we will be with Christ in the flesh worshipping God the Father and enjoying a complete fellowship with Him. It is well when we know in our hearts, that God is the source of true peace. This is a peace that surpasses all understanding and peace that is more than an absence of conflict.

Hope For Today

As you face the trials and tribulations of life day in and day out, focus on this Psalm 46. Focus on the safety and security we have in the presence of God. Remember that God is on the throne and nothing happens that He has not authorized. We may not understand it at the time, but knowing that God is in control brings peace to our hearts about the things we endure. Finally, remember that ultimately we will be with God in person exalting and worshipping Him. There will be no more conflict, tears, or sorrow. Just joy and fulfillment as we spend eternity with our Creator.

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

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