It is Well with My Soul

This hymn was written by Horatio Spafford and composed by Philip Bliss. First published in Gospel Songs No. 2 by Ira Sankey and Bliss (1876) . Horatio Spafford penned this song after several tramatic events in his life which included the death of his son, financial ruin due to the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, and the loss of his 4 daughters in a shipwreck. While traveling by ship to meet his grieving wife, Spafford passed near where his daughters had died. It was during that moment he found inspiration to write this now well known and loved song. (1)

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 blessed 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 trumpet 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.

Learning about the history of this song, it has brought new meaning to the inspired words. When I think about the losses that Spafford suffered, I’m reminded of the devastating losses experienced by Job. This song provides a great reminder that just like Job, God never abandons His children during the trials and tribulations of this world. The simplistic yet powerful words of the chorus reinforce that our soul can rest in knowing God is always there.

While God allowed Job to endure tragic events in his life, we know that God remained ever present. Through those trials, Job sought God’s comfort and accepted that God would not forsake him. Job understood that God’s blessings extend beyond this physical world and knew all good things come from the Lord.

I hope the story behind this song and the references to Job’s story may help you sing this song with even more meaning and better understanding.

And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21

“He does great things past finding out, Yes, wonders without number.” Job 9:10

For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; ” Job 19:25

“I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.” Job 42:2

Until next time, lots of love and blessing to you and yours.


(1)- It Is Well with My Soul, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=It_Is_Well_with_My_Soul&oldid=903162107 (last visited Aug. 16, 2019).

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