A Hymn for Meditation

Peace Like a River

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.

He lives – oh the bliss
Of this glorious thought;
My sin, not in part, but the whole,
Is nailed to his cross
And I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul.

Lord, hasten the day
When our faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll,
The trumpet shall sound
And the Lord shall descend;
Even so it is well with my soul.

                              Horatio G. Spafford

  • How could anyone say that no matter what, it is well with my soul?
  • When I failed to get a job I thought I had earned, I was angry with the people who made that decision. I wanted to hurt them the way they had hurt me. Why did I feel that way? How would the hymnwriter describe my problem? What had I forgotten?
  • What is the focus of this writer’s hope? How does he deal with the kind of hurt that made me feel vengeful?
  • What is the biggest problem you face right now? Do you think the economy is a complete disaster? Did the wrong person win the presidential election? Have you been betrayed by someone you trusted? How would this hymnwriter work through these problems?
  • Where did the hymnwriter get the imagery of his final verse? Why does he find that image encouraging when his life is full of problems? (See Revelation 21-22)