Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Is it Well?
This hymn was written after traumatic events in Spafford's life. The first was the death of his son at the age of two and the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which ruined him financially (he had been a successful lawyer and had invested significantly in property in the area of Chicago that was extensively damaged by the great fire). His business interests were further hit by the economic downturn of 1873, at which time he had planned to travel to Europe with his family on the SS Ville du Havre. In a late change of plan, he sent the family ahead while he was delayed on business concerning zoning problems following the Great Chicago Fire. While crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the ship sank rapidly after a collision with a sea vessel, the Loch Earn, and all four of Spafford's daughters died. His wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, "Saved alone …". Shortly afterwards, as Spafford traveled to meet his grieving wife, he was inspired to write these words as his ship passed near where his daughters had died. Bliss called his tune Ville du Havre, from the name of the stricken vessel, and all four of Spafford's daughters died. His wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, "Saved alone …". Shortly afterwards, as Spafford traveled to meet his grieving wife, he was inspired to write these words as his ship passed near where his daughters had died. Bliss called his tune Ville du Havre, from the name of the stricken vessel. - Wikipedia
It is Well
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 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 hath 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 His 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 dark hours about me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul
This song often comes to mind when I either am facing something difficult or see others in the midst of difficulty in their lives. The song by MercyMe "Even If" gives a nod toward it.
In the story behind their song Bart Millard tells of how difficult it is night after night being all joyful up on the stage, when at home, there's tremendous difficulty. His child is to spend the rest of his life getting shots to live.
We all face great challenges. We all face them without and within. Battles that nobody but God sees. Scripture itself says we battle not against flesh and blood.
Ephesians 6:12 "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places."
Consider that for a while. The struggles you face are indeed greater than you. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, the only goal of those forces is to make you as ineffective as is possible to the cause of Christ. To shut you down. To shut you up. Jesus said we would have troubles in this life. He never promised peace and prosperity all the time. He said if they hated Me they will hate you. The peace He offers isn't like what the world calls peace.
I took a page from a friend's playbook and included the story behind that famous hymn.
We complain and complain to God about this and that in our lives. But the question really is, is our complaining legitimate?
Or are we wanting while not obeying?
I have often been in that situation. Crying out for help but not letting go of what is the real source of the problem.
Think about your own life. Are you putting up a false facade for the world to see and in reality really languishing in pain? The Bible speaks to that too. Bear one another's burdens and thus fulfill the law of Christ. You keep it in, you are sinning.
You. Scripture also says that He who knows the good he ought to do and does not do it, sins. Since, yes, it's good to share your burden it's a sin when you keep it to yourself. Look at it from a slightly larger angle. Where two or more are gathered, there I am in their midst. - Jesus.
Want the peace of God? Share and pray together. Want a peace that passes understanding? Share and pray. Want to see God work? Share and pray. Honestly, He didn't make it difficult.
There are so many embarrassing aspects of pride. We are ashamed to ask for help due to being embarrassed. We are ashamed because we don't like asking for help. Tell you what. Get over it. Jesus commanded it. Therefore it's a nonissue.
We follow Christ we obey His command. That's how it works. You want to finally have peace? Obey. Forgive. Let go. Believe. Jesus said that when we pray we must believe that He not only heard but is going to do something.
Think about this today. We live in a world that has governments wanting full control of our lives. Thinking that would solve the world's problems. They are not the answer. Obeying God's Word is the only answer. There is no power in anything written by mankind outside of the inspired Word of God.
Pray. Open your heart to the one who loves you so much that He died for you. No you won't always get your life right but He will always work to make you more like Him in order to handle it.