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Is all well? “It is well with my soul”


We are so blessed and daily enjoy the blessings of God, whether it be having a roof over our head or food to eat, or having it all:  cars, houses, dishwasher, washing machine, dryer, toys, entertainment, TVs, DVRs, fast food, designer shoes, handbags, clothes.  We are so used to living in the blessings of God that when any trial or mountain comes our way we have become “soft”, unable to still say: “whatever my lot, you have taught me to say, it is well with my soul”.  Whether feast or famine God is still God and our trust should never waver.    Read this story and learn to say, no matter your circumstances, IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL.

HYMN HISTORY: “It is Well With My Soul”

This hymn was written by a Chicago lawyer, Horatio G. Spafford. You might think to write a worship song titled,

‘It is well with my soul’, you would indeed have to be a rich, successful Chicago lawyer. But the words,

“When sorrows like sea billows roll … It is well with my soul”, were not written during the happiest period of

Spafford’s life. On the contrary, they came from a man who had suffered almost unimaginable personal tragedy.

Horatio G. Spafford and his wife, Anna, were pretty well-known in 1860’s Chicago. And this was not just because

of Horatio’s legal career and business endeavors. The Spaffords were also prominent supporters and close

friends of D.L. Moody, the famous preacher. In 1870, however, things started to go wrong. 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 East to Europe while Spafford

returned West 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 had stood bravely on the deck, with her daughters

Annie, Maggie, Bessie and Tanetta clinging desperately to her. Her last memory had been of her baby being

torn violently from her arms by the force of the waters. Anna was only saved from the fate of her daughters by a

plank which floated beneath her unconscious body and propped her up. When the survivors of the wreck had

been rescued, Mrs. Spafford’s first reaction was one of complete despair. Then she heard a voice speak to her,

“You were spared for a purpose.” And she immediately recalled the words of a friend, “It’s easy to be grateful

and good when you have so much, but take care that you are not a fair-weather friend to God.”

Upon hearing the terrible news, Horatio Spafford boarded the next ship out of New York to join his bereaved

wife. Bertha Spafford (the fifth daughter of Horatio and Anna born later) explained that during her father’s

voyage, the captain of the ship had 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.

The words which Spafford wrote that day come from 2 Kings 4:26. They echo the response of the Shunammite 

woman to the sudden death of her only child. Though we are told “her soul is vexed within her”, she still maintains that ‘It is well.” And Spafford’s song reveals a man whose trust in the Lord is as unwavering as hers

was.

It would be very difficult for any of us to predict how we would react under circumstances similar to those experienced by the Spaffords. But we do know that the God who sustained them would also be with us.

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.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,

Let this blest assurance control,

That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,

And hath shed His own blood for my soul!

It is well … with my soul!

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

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Come visit us on the web at http://www.histabernacle.com, or watch http://www.hisword.tv every Sunday morning on WENY-TV ABC at 7:30am., and CBS at 8:00am.

For a truly charismatic, Spirit-filled church experience, Pastor Micheal Spencer invites you to a time of fellowship, worship and incredible spiritual growth at His Tabernacle Family Church every Sunday morning at either 9:00am or 11:00am.  Pastors Micheal and Rhonda Spencer are committed to preaching the Word with boldness and conviction, for the purpose of equipping the believers for the work of the Kingdom.  We enjoy a culturally diverse congregation, with attenders from all over the world.  So, whether you’re looking for a solid, Pentecostal, Bible-believing church in Elmira, a church in Corning, or a church in Ithaca, His Tabernacle Family Church in Horseheads is the church home you’ve been searching for.

Dr. Micheal Spencer

His Tabernacle Family Church

A House of Grace and Mercy

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