Sweet friends~ thank you for your kind words, prayer, and concern. I don’t mean to worry you. Truly, it is well with my soul, and I sincerely pray that you can say the same thing, no matter what is going on around you. Life is full of daily opportunities to build those faith muscles, isn’t it?
I’ll be a bit more honest with you about my faith struggle last week… as I’ve continued to process everything, I think it really boiled down to a disappointment – dare I admit to being so spoiled and say it… in God??? Ugh… I cringe even typing it. But wouldn’t we all admit that from time to time we struggle with that feeling? Weariness in fighting back some battle at the gate in prayer, watching and waiting and not yet seeing the results that one KNOWS God CAN deliver… which makes fertile ground for the enemy to slink right in and plant seeds of doubt in God’s care, concern, and faithfulness… even though we KNOW those things remain true about God, despite what our eyes might be currently seeing? That old enemy and I had a fight over God’s faithfulness last week. By the way, the Lord and I won, and I now have a few stronger muscles built and ready for the next time my trust in God is challenged. Praise Jesus! 😉
I think that’s the point of allowing us to fight these faith battles in the first place. Yes? As long as we live in this dying and sinful world as sinners saved by Grace, we will have to fight to keep our eyes and hearts centered on what God says is true about Himself and His promises. In fact, that’s the definition of faith in Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].” Hebrews 11:6 goes on to tell us that it is impossible to please God without faith. So, of course the enemy would want to try to do everything he can to steal, kill, and destroy our trust in God and His goodness and love toward us!
When I think about someone building faith-muscles, and God using that person’s faith to spur on so many others, I can’t help but think about Horatio Spafford who wrote the beautiful old hymn, “It is Well With My Soul.” Do you know the story behind the writing of this hymn?
Horatio Spafford (1828-1888) was a wealthy Chicago lawyer with a thriving legal practice, a beautiful home, a wife, four daughters and a son. He was also a devout Christian and faithful student of the Scriptures. His circle of friends included Dwight L. Moody, Ira Sankey and various other well-known Christians of the day.
At the very height of his financial and professional success, Horatio and his wife Anna suffered the tragic loss of their young son. Shortly thereafter on October 8, 1871, the Great Chicago Fire destroyed almost every real estate investment that Spafford had.
In 1873, Spafford scheduled a boat trip to Europe in order to give his wife and daughters a much needed vacation and time to recover from the tragedy. He also went to join Moody and Sankey on an evangelistic campaign in England. Spafford sent his wife and daughters ahead of him while he remained in Chicago to take care of some unexpected last minute business. Several days later he received notice that his family’s ship had encountered a collision. All four of his daughters drowned; only his wife had survived.
With a heavy heart, Spafford boarded a boat that would take him to his grieving Anna in England. It was on this trip that he penned those now famous words, When sorrow like sea billows roll; it is well, it is well with my soul..
Oh my friends, I’m praying that the Lord will use the beautiful words of this hymn, the cry of a man of God who determined to trust, even in the midst of huge losses (that make my little battles seem like swatting at mosquitoes) to lift and encourage your heart to cry out… It is well, it is well, with my soul.
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 hast taught me to say,
It is well, 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 hath 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 the 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.
A men, and praise the Lord!