It is Well–An Overcomer’s Hymn

I cannot think of a better way to conclude a week on having Kingdom Vision with the perspective of Christ than to use the famous hymn “It is Well with My Soul.”

We all know suffering in our own lives—in ways both small and great.   Suffering is something to be realistically expected, Jesus reminds us.  In context, however, He tells us to take heart because He has overcome the world (John 16:33).

For my own part, I tend to forget sufferings as I look to the Cross.  It’s not that they’ve gone away or that the scars are no longer visible.  I just forget them in the same way I have forgotten what the pain of childbirth is like and most of us have no accurate recollection of teething pain we knew as babies.  We sure cried a lot.  It must have hurt, but how many of us even remember it?

The human mind works in odd ways, but maybe there’s something else going on.  We look not only inward but outward, with comparison of our sufferings with the sufferings of others.  Perhaps this is why I forget.  Those who have faced persecution or starvation or assault, for example, face suffering that is far more acute than my own.  My sufferings in many ways aren’t worth comparing to those endured by so many others.  For certain my sufferings can’t begin to approach those of my Savior.

One day when I was ministering to a friend who was dealing with something I’d overcome, she told me of a couple of common acquaintances, one of whom was newly facing cancer and another who had recently given birth to a stillborn child.  She began to suggest that maybe I could offer to be a listening ear to them and help them in their grief.  At once, her face went pale and she looked up through tears and said, “I had no idea until just now that you’ve dealt with all three of these things!  I am so sorry!” I reassured her that her suggestion was fine–I wasn’t sorry at all for myself.  My heart does go out to others.


It is WellLong ago, I concluded that God allows suffering in our lives to focus our sights on the Cross and to prepare us to love others who are distraught.  In some cases, like that of our hymn writer Horatio Spafford, our sufferings produce something of such enduring beauty that we find it easier to forget the pain, by our seeing the face of Christ so plainly and feeling His presence more profoundly.

Judy Hoch has a homeschooling study on the history of Horatio Spafford’s “It is Well with My Soul” . In it, she recounts the famous losses of Horatio Spafford occurring in such a short span of time: his son, his fortune, and his four daughters.  In spite of these tragedies, Spafford’s focus remained on faith—the Kingdom perspective of Christ.  As you read the poem written by Spafford, notice his great faith, how his focus is heavenward, his gaze upon Christ, and how sure is his hope because he has Kingdom Vision.

Hoch has included a video of the Mennonite Men’s Choir singing the hymn.  But if you have more time you can set aside in quiet contemplation for Bill Graham’s favorite hymns sung by the amazing Wintley Phipps, “It is Well” begins at 12:45 in the Day of Discovery program.  In either video, Spafford’s hymn will bless your soul as it has continued to bless Overcomers for generations.

 It is Well with My Soul

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.


It is well, with my soul,
It is well, 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!


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.

Categories Articles, Articles and Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on August 23, 2013

Social Networks: RSS Facebook Twitter Google Stumble Upon Digg Reddit

Leave a Reply