A Sure And Certain Hope The Story Behind "It Is Well With My Soul"
“It is well with my soul.”
Horatio Spafford was a lawyer and businessman, living in Chicago with his wife, Anna, in 1870. They had five beautiful daughters, a great business, and were devout Christians in their daily lives.
In 1870, the Spafford’s lost one of their children from the outbreak of scarlet fever. The following year, by rumor of Mrs. O’Leary’s cow, the Great Chicago fire overtook much of the city, destroying most of the real estate that Mr. Spafford had invested in.It is well with my soul. Click To Tweet
Horatio wanted to give his family a break from the devistation they experienced over the last couple of years. So in November of 1873, they decided to take a vacation to visit their friend and evangelist, D.L. Moody in England.
Just before their ship was to set sail from New York, Horatio had an urgent business matter come up. Not wanting to delay his family, he sent them ahead of him, promising to be right behind them.
But on November 22, 1873, another tragedy hit home for the Spafford family. On this day, the ship carrying his wife and four daughters, struck another ship while crossing the Atlantic. As the ship took on water and was engulfed by the ocean, it took the lives of 226 people with it; including the Spafford’s four daughters. When Anna reached land, she sent a two word message to her husband, saying “Saved Alone.”
What’s burdening you today? What is giving you anxiety, robbing you of sleep, or enslaving your joy?
In a matter of three years, Horatio lost his business, a child to sickness, and four children to tragedy.
As he sailed across the Atlantic to grieve with his wife, the ship captain approached him as they sailed over the scene of the accident.
It was at this moment, Horatio picked up a piece of paper and penned these words:
“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.” – Listen to Song
“It is well with my soul.” A man who had experienced great loss still says it is well with my soul. To the world it doesn’t make sense, but for Christians, God gives us the answer.
In 1 Thessalonians, Paul is asked if the people who have died in faith have died in vain. Paul says, by no means!
“But we do not want you to be uniformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:12
For Christians, there is hope. There is freedom from burdens. In Christ, you and I can also declare it is well with my soul because Christ has saved my soul from death and has redeemed and given me life!In Christ, you and I can also declare it is well with my soul because Christ has saved my soul from death and has redeemed and given me life! Click To Tweet
Does this mean we will no longer experience physical or emotional tragedy in this lifetime? Unfortunately, this is not the case because of sin. But one thing is for certain: that Christ has saved us from spiritual separation from God. Satan cannot bring spiritual death upon those in Christ Jesus.
But even as we experience physical and emotional burdens in this lifetime, Christ offers us hope.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30
Come, find rest in your Savior where you also can declare, “It is well with my soul.”