Midweek Devotion: It Is Well With My Soul

Check out the story behind another beloved hymn: It Is Well with My Soul

Philippians 4:7 from The Message Bible says; “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”

The story behind this hymn reads like a modern-day Job account. The author, Horatio G. Spafford (1828-1888), was a Presbyterian layman from Chicago. He had established a very successful legal practice as a young businessman and was also a devout Christian. Among his close friends were several evangelists including the famous Dwight L. Moody, also from Chicago. 

In a short span, he and his wife lost their son to scarlet fever and their fortune to the great Chicago Fire. Believing his family would benefit from a much-needed vacation, they made arrangements to travel to Europe. When some unexpected last-minute business needed his attention, he sent his wife and their four daughters on ahead with the plan that he would catch up with them at a later date. 
On November 22, 1873, their ship was struck by another and sank in twelve minutes. They lost all four daughters. When his wife made it to land, she cabled her husband, “Saved alone.”

Horatio left immediately to join his wife. Along the way, the captain of the ship contacted him and explained they were in the area where he lost his daughters. As Horatio thought about his daughters, words of comfort and hope filled his heart and mind. He wrote them down, and they have since become a well-beloved hymn.

I know we can’t always declare that everything is fine and dandy. We know life has a way of hammering away at us. But as we have been sharing with one another, with our faith in a loving God and with trust in God’s divine help, we move closer to the day when we can say, “It is well, it is well with my soul!”

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
it is well, it is well, with my soul

It is well
It is well (it is well)
With my soul (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 (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul
It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul

So, friends my prayer for you this week is that God will displace the worry in your life with Christ’s peace. That regardless of the headlines or the trials that you face, all will be well with your soul. Amen.

Below are a few renditions of this popular hymn.
1) Acapeldridge:  https://youtu.be/ZYrL9ea1XUg
2) Chris Rice:  https://youtu.be/413eorZE24o
3)  Matt Redman:  https://youtu.be/aoRecglINIw
4) Mormon Tabernacle Choir:  https://youtu.be/Eg5O2y1UXw4
5) Anthem Lights:  https://youtu.be/jcp6w4zaW7U