Day 3

It Is Well With My Soul

from the Hymns reading plan


Isaiah 66:12-14, Job 19:25-26, James 5:7-11, Colossians 2:13-14

BY Amanda Bible Williams

Text: Isaiah 66:12-14, Job 19:25-26, James 5:7-11, Colossians 2:13-14

For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God…
– Job 19:25-26, ESV

The last few years had been pretty terrible for the man. He and his wife, Anna, had 4 beautiful children—3 girls and a boy—when scarlet fever stole the life of their only son. The boy was just four years old.

The family was wealthy; he was a successful lawyer with influential friends. The year after his little boy died, the man invested a sizeable portion of their money in northern Chicago’s growing real estate market. A handful of months later, it was gone—the property and the family fortune destroyed by the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

But it’s what came next that undid him.

The year was 1873, two years after the fire. He sent Anna and their children (there were 4 girls now, one born since the loss of their son) ahead to England for a family holiday. He stayed back on business with the plan of following shortly after. Only, something went terribly wrong. The ship wrecked with another in the Atlantic, and the girls perished at sea. A grieved Anna reached shore and sent her husband a telegram: “Survived alone.”

Survived alone.

Have you ever felt that sorrow, Sister? Have you ever found yourself standing, lost and suddenly alone, in the wreckage of what was or what might have been?

We know our Redeemer lives. We believe it, even when we cannot feel it. Yet grief is thick and tangible and our bodies pain under its weight. Whatever and whomever we grieve, the emotions consume and toss us like ragdolls in the waves and we have no energy left to swim. And so we do the only thing we know to do: we give the grief back to God.

When a broken Chicago businessman named Horatio Spafford sailed past the very spot on the Atlantic where his baby girls breathed their last, he offered up these words of worship to the God who presides over all the sorrows and the seas, to the One who has borne the whole of our grief and our sin:

Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Yes, Lord, haste the day where our faith shall be sight. And may be spend all our days until then offering you our joys, our grief, everything we are. Amen.

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IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL
Ho­ra­tio G. Spaf­ford, 1873

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.

Refrain
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.

Refrain

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!

Refrain

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.

Refrain

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Post Comments (367)

367 thoughts on "It Is Well With My Soul"

  1. Pris E. says:

    I’ve always loved this hymn! Thank you for the study.

  2. Jules says:

    We are never promised perfect circumstances and comfort in this broken life, only the hope of a perfect future with Jesus and the promise that he is here to guide us in this life. No matter what happens, he is good and loves us in his perfect way. It is so very well with my soul.

  3. Kim says:

    That is my most favorite hymn! I can never get through it without crying. When I found out the history behind the songwriter, a few years ago, that only added to my love and tears. But I’ll never forget the moment (about a year ago) when one of the verses actually hit me & even though I have heard and sung this song since I was a child, I never really got it. “…when my faith shall be sight” I can’t make it through that now without streaming tears & it is well with my soul!!

  4. Lucy says:

    Hallelujah!!

  5. Hailey says:

    It is well with my soul

  6. Kelly says:

    Whatever my lot , it is well, it is well with my soul. How does this look in real life? Whatever does living this truth look like? How do I live in this truth. It is always well with my soul. Something to sit on!

  7. liz.k says:

    To have that peace, that assurance to say, regardless of anything, “even so, it is well with my soul!”

  8. Olivia says:

    Giving the grief back to God seems so easy but it’s actually one of the hardest things to do. I am trying very hard for it to feel well with my soul

    1. Deirdre says:

      Oh beautiful, sweet Olivia. This is so true. Don’t feel pressured not to experience your grief or push it aside. Just understand that you can bring your whole self to the Lord, including the emotions or the emptiness, and He takes your whole self into His loving arms. I remember in my season of grief, feeling like I’d cried so much that I was dried up like a mummy, exhausted by pain, and just showing up to church or quiet time was all I could do. “OK God… I’m here. Please help me.” And He did! He walked through it all with me. He is with you and for you already! Bring your whole self to Him, and you will look back one day and see what it meant to be carried. Love you & praying for you.

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