This hymn was written by a Chicago lawyer, Horatio G. Spafford.  These words came from a man who had suffered almost unimaginable personal tragedy.

  The Spaffords’ only son was killed by scarlet fever at the age of four. A year later, it was fire rather than fever that struck. Horatio had invested heavily in real estate on the shores of Lake Michigan. In 1871, every one of these holdings was wiped out by the great Chicago Fire.
  Aware of the toll that these disasters had taken on the family, Horatio decided to take his wife and four daughters on a holiday to England. And, not only did they need the rest — DL Moody needed the help. He was traveling around Britain on one of his great evangelistic campaigns. Horatio and Anna planned to join Moody in late 1873. And so, the Spaffords traveled to New York in November, from where they were to catch the French steamer ‘Ville de Havre’ across the Atlantic. Yet just before they set sail, a last-minute business development forced Horatio to delay. Not wanting to ruin the family holiday, Spafford persuaded his family to go as planned. He would follow on later. With this decided, Anna and her four daughters sailed to Europe while Spafford returned to Chicago. Just nine days later, Spafford received a telegram from his wife in Wales. It read: “Saved alone.”
  On November 2nd 1873, the ‘Ville de Havre’ had collided with ‘The Lochearn’, an English vessel. It sank in only 12 minutes, claiming the lives of 226 people. Anna Spafford alone was saved. Their four daughters drowned.
Upon hearing the terrible news, Horatio Spafford boarded the next ship out of New York to join his bereaved wife. During the voyage, the captain of the ship called him to the bridge. “A careful reckoning has been made”, he said, “and I believe we are now passing the place where the de Havre was wrecked. The water is three miles deep.” Horatio then returned to his cabin and penned the lyrics of his great hymn.

  No matter what circumstances overtake us may we be able to say with Horatio Spafford…”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.”  

Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.”




Jesus said, “Peace, I leave with you; my peace I give you…Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  John 14: 27

4 Responses to ““IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL””

  1. I love the song, “It is well with my soul” but it is not well with everyone’s soul. It is our love for God that compells us to help others to make their souls well. I received an email last night from a lady thanking me for speaking to her when she came for church and seeking a church home. Her life had not been the best, but now she has hope in Christ Jesus. Too many people shy away from making a new person feel welcome in God’s house. God can give you courage to do this small task to help someone have the confidence of wellness for their soul.

  2. I met a man at church yesterday (who attends our church) who had just 3 days earlier lost his wife due to illness. Although she had been quite sick, I don’t think they expected death. Although he was grieving deeply, he felt that he needed to be in the Lord’s house. I could see his stricken face and as I listened to Tom’s sermon yesterday, I was hoping this man was hearing Tom’s words about Joy, in any circumstance. I pray that “it is well with his soul” as he grieves the loss of his wife. This song has meant so much to so many people over the years. Thanks for reminding us that when we have Christ, it is well with our soul.

  3. Max , What a blessing you are to me and others by taking the time to send out such words of encouragement. I can see the time and prayer you spend each week in getting this done. May God continue to give you the words and thoughts as you serve Him in this way !

  4. Thanks for reminding us how important God’s peace is in our daily lives! When we put God at the center of our lives we will experience true peace as this wonderful song says. When we walk with Him as our friend every day, as you speak to Him in prayer, listen to Him through His Holy Word, the Bible, and also learn about Him through fellowship with other Bible believers our lives will fulfilled and God’s peace will be ours! Lord bless you and yours today in every way and all the way, Norman

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