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, oh 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, even so, it is well with my soul.
It is well, with my soul. It is well, it is well, with my soul.
Memorize this hymn, if you haven’t.
Learn the words, sing the words, whisper the words to your Lord. Ask Him to make true it’s truths for you — not in a hunkered down or fatalistic sort of way — but in a way that, whether your sun rises and sets on a peaceful river, or whelming sorrows threaten to drown you, it is well with your soul.
- I learned these words as a joyous, new Christian, and remember asking my Father to make them true in my life. I wanted to have the faith the author had.
- I sang these words when I was single, and wanted to be married, and wondered what God had planned for my future. I asked Him to give me steady trust, even in lonely unsurety.
- I prayed these words on days when the fog of sleep-deprived, new-and-unsure-of-every-move motherhood would not lift. I asked Him to help me honor Him in every exhausted unknown.
- I whispered these words to the Lord as I stood at my sick child’s bedside. I so wanted to glorify Him through that frightening, uncharted season.
- I sing these words now, on both peaceful and trial-filled days, praying that my years to come would be controlled and kept by my Lord until that day when the clouds roll back, and the trump resounds, and He descends.
Horatio Spafford penned this recounting of his own life after losing most of his wealth in the Great Chicago Fire, and quickly afterwards, his four daughters in a ship collision at sea. Satan had buffeted, yes, but not broken his faith. Sea billows had rolled, and trials come, but God, faithful always, had kept his soul. Praise erupted from Spafford’s pen as he understood all of life in the context of Jesus’ death and His coming day of return.
Ask God to grow your own faith, so that when Satan buffets, or trials come, your controlling thought leads to this seminal, steadying assurance:
Christ has regarded your helpless estate, and He chose to shed His blood for your soul.
Ask God to work in you a heart full of praise at that glorious thought! He nailed your sin to the cross and you bear the burden of its guilt no more. He chose to die so that you might live!
For these are truths that, no matter the day’s unfolding, make a soul well.
Painting: Empress Maria in storm, by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1892
Hymn: It is Well with My Soul, by Horatio G. Spafford, 1873