It is Well with my Soul

A hymn of recovery and redemption that declares the peace that we are to embrace as Christians is the hymn “It is Well”. The story of this hymn is very heart touching and amazing when you think about where it comes from and how someone could reach this point in their lives amidst so much tragedy.

Horatio G. Spafford of Chicago had lost everything in the fire of 1871 and two years later, in a desire to give his family rest from the problems and headaches they had been facing, planned a trip for himself, his wife, and their four daughters to Europe to get away.

Spafford was forced to stay behind for a couple days when the trip was to start but planned to be a day or two behind them. The ship that carried his wife and four children met a tragic end, going under and sinking, many were lost, including his four daughters. His wife arrived in England and wired a message to Spafford informing him of the situation with two words, “Saved alone.”

Spafford boarded a ship and sailed to join his wife, and as the ship came near the point that his family had been lost, he penned these words:

“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! Blessed hope, blessed 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.”

Today we should have the same view, no matter what comes our way, we should be able to say that it is well with our soul. Spafford’s view of life is one we should all, as Christians, adopt and one that we should never lose sight of, his view was on the return of Christ and the promise we receive from His Word and the redemption given through His blood on Calvary.

Let your focus be on Heavenly things today, it is where you will find the peace to say, “It is well with my soul.”

“For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (Romans 8:6 KJV)”

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Do Everything

The issue that many Christians have, especially when they are first starting out is disappointment at some point along the way.

This disappointment usually stems from the downside of the spiritual high that a new Christian experiences, but is rooted in a couple of different factors along the way.

First, many new Christians find themselves disappointed because of friends they may have who are not Christians.  These friends tend to play the part of making someone feel as if they have made a mistake, trying to explain that there is no fun in being a Christian.  The truth is, many of them are jealous of the fact that their friend has found something to take the place of the ‘old’ way of life.

The second factor is when the new wears off.  I don’t want it to sound like being a Christian is not fun; in fact it is more than that.  The hardest part for a new Christian is when the excitement wears off; this is where we as Christians are called to stand together.  The hard part for many new Christians is feeling accepted in the church or feeling like they belong in an already established group.

We are to work together if we want to see Jesus lifted high in this world.  To show the world what Christ was truly like when he walked the earth, we are to be as he was to the world.  We are called to love…called to serve…called to praise…all for the glory of God.

I think the best example that I can give are the lyrics from Steven Curtis Chapman’s song called “Do Everything”.

The lyrics of the chorus give a clear picture to how I believe we are supposed to view life as a Christian:

“Do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you, ‘Cause He made you to do every little thing that you do to bring a smile to His face, and tell the story of grace with every move that you make and every little thing you do.”

Doing everything to the glory of God will not only bring a smile to God’s face, but will also put a permanent smile on your face as well!  So do everything so that you can tell the story of grace to a world that so desperately needs to hear it.

Where I Belong

As Christians we all struggle with the question of where we belong or where we fit in.  One of the major points that we all must realize is that we all fit into the Family of God, each of us in our own, unique ways.  In 1 Corinthians 12:12 it states, “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.”

Here in lies our situation.  We as Christians are called to find our place in this world, so that we can effectively share Christ with the world.  To find our place we must realize a couple of different things.  First, we must realize that we are part of the Body of Christ.  We, though we are different than others, are still a part of the same body.

Later in the chapter we see, in verses 14-17, “For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?”  A few verses later, it is summed up in this way, “And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: (vv. 21-22)”

In looking at this we must realize that we cannot look at the other members of the Body of Christ and say that we do not need to work together.  This is one place that I see that the split in denominations within the church has caused concern as the days seem to draw to a close.  We have too many who are fighting against others, rather than banding together to bring others to Christ.

I would encourage you today to fight this, because we are all a part of the Body of Christ and we need to work together to accomplish great things for God’s Kingdom.

Secondly, we have to come to a realization that this world is not our home…we are merely travelers in a foreign land who are working until the day that we can experience our heavenly citizenship.  I think this second point is summed up best in lyrics from a song from Building 429…

“All I know is I’m not home yet, this is not where I belong.  Take this world and give me Jesus , this is not where I belong.”

I would encourage you today to give up the world, give up the pride that keeps our congregations from banding together for the same cause and the same GOD, and give in to Jesus.  Allow Jesus to live in your heart today, allow yourself to turn it all over to God and let Him guide your paths.  This world is not your home if you are a servant of the King…you have been called to a much higher purpose, and today is the day that we must all embrace our calling and serve the Lord.