It Is Well with My Soul

Easily one of my top 3 hymns of all time is It Is Well with My Soul. In recent weeks I have heard it numerous times, either in worship services or on Pandora. It always stirs something in my heart when I hear it. There is so much pain present yet contentment, peace, and ultimately the praise and worship of God takes over as the song progresses. I was interested in knowing the origins of the hymn and the story is truly remarkable.

Horatio Spafford was a prominent attorney in Chicago in the 1860s. He and his wife Anna were close friends and supporters of D.L. Moody, the famous preacher. Along with four daughters and a son, they were busy living the American dream when disaster struck. Their 4-year-old son died of scarlet fever in 1870. One year later, as heavy investors in Chicago real estate, the Spaffords lost almost everything they owned in the Great Chicago Fire.

The Spafford family needed a break and decided to sail to England for a vacation and to meet up with Rev. Moody to help in one of his evangelistic campaigns. They made it to New York, but a last-minute business issue caused Horatio to have to delay. He decided to send his wife and four daughters on ahead and he would catch up with them in England. The women set sail aboard a French steamer and nine days later Horatio received a telegram from Anna that read “Saved alone”. The ship had collided with another ship and sunk in 12 minutes, claiming the lives of 226 people, including Horatio’s four daughters. Anna survived by God’s grace as a piece of wood happened to keep her unconscious body afloat.

When Horatio heard the news, he boarded the first ship he could to be with Anna. When they came to the site of the accident, the captain called Horatio to the bridge. As they passed the spot where his daughters perished God began to speak to Horatio. He immediately went back to his room and penned the now-famous hymn.

As you read the verses of the song below, think about how you would react in similar circumstances.  Would you have the same peace? What is it that allows Horatio Spafford to say “It is well”?

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!

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.

Chorus:
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Relevant Verses:
Philippians 4:4-7
Psalm 146:1
Psalm 46:1-3
Psalm 103:1-6
John 14:27

See also:
Everything is Breaking!!!
I Love a Good Storm by Ashley Gilland via Counting it all JOY!

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About Charlie

I am a Child of God, a Husband, a Father and a Wealth Advisor. My mission is very simple: "Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed." 1 Timothy 6:17-19. One last thing: Go Gators!
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