Playing in the background of my mind while I read Psalm 146, a “song” of pure praise by a soul who loves God with all that is in him, is a hymn written in 1873 called “It is Well With My Soul”. I ask myself, no matter what is happening around us, do we really believe that what we believe about God is really real? IS it well with our soul?
THE BACK STORY…Horatio Spafford, composer of It is Well with My Soul
This hymn was written after traumatic events in Spafford’s life. The first two were the death of his four-year-old son 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 England with his family on the SS Ville du Havre, to help with D. L. Moody’s upcoming evangelistic campaigns. 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.
Here are the ORIGINAL lyrics…
When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to know
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.
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!
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 the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
A song in the night, oh my soul!
To Spafford, no matter what happened in his life, God was in charge. And because he believed God is Sovereign and in charge, like the Psalmist sings, it is well with his soul.
Worship and Wisdom, Psalms and Proverbs
Psalm 146, The Message
O my soul, praise God!
All my life long I’ll praise God,
singing songs to my God as long as I live.
3-9 Don’t put your life in the hands of experts
who know nothing of life, of salvation life.
Mere humans don’t have what it takes;
when they die, their projects die with them.
Instead, get help from the God of Jacob,
put your hope in God and know real blessing!
God made sky and soil,
sea and all the fish in it.
He always does what he says—
he defends the wronged,
he feeds the hungry.
God frees prisoners—
he gives sight to the blind,
he lifts up the fallen.
God loves good people, protects strangers,
takes the side of orphans and widows,
but makes short work of the wicked.
10 God’s in charge—always.
Zion’s God is God for good!
TRUTH: The God of Zion is our God! “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16.
Believe in Jesus, repent of sin and be saved by grace by a God who loved you first!
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” –Jesus
NOW, because we really believe, raise a hallelujah to the One and Only who loves us most, provides for us best, protects us from evil and delivers us from thinking what about what is not true. Stick to Truth.
Proverb 3:1-6, The Message
1-2 Good friend, don’t forget all I’ve taught you;
take to heart my commands.
They’ll help you live a long, long time,
a long life lived full and well.
3-4 Don’t lose your grip on Love and Loyalty.
Tie them around your neck; carve their initials on your heart.
Earn a reputation for living well
in God’s eyes and the eyes of the people.
5-12 Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.
WISDOM: Trust God
Abba, Father in Heaven,
Because of you all is well with my soul. You saved me, restored my hope in you, picked me up when I was down and set me on level ground. You allow me to hear your voice and give me strength and wisdom to obey. When I’m distracted by the world, you pull back into your arms, set me right and then send me out again to tell the world of your love, mercy and saving grace. You are God! Through Jesus, Your Son, we are allowed to come right up to you with our love, petitions, wonderings, and praise. Oh Lord, because of you I am whole and complete. I trust all of me to all of You.
In Jesus Name, Amen
“Hallelujah! O my soul, praise God!
All my life long I’ll praise God, singing songs to my God as long as I live.”