Tag Archives: It Is Well with My Soul

A Hymn for Meditation

hymnalPeace 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!

                        By Horatio G. Spafford 

  • The hymnwriter uses the image of a peacefully flowing river for the experience of peace within. He contrasts that to the image of a ship tossed in a huge storm at sea representing unsettled times. Do these images make sense to you? What image do you like to use for feeling either peaceful or distressed?
  • The hymnwriter believes God wants him to feel at peace no matter what is happening. What do you think God wants? Are you able to feel at peace when you hear that secular thinkers believe Christians are spewing hate when they say that the will not vote for gay marriage? Are you able to feel at peace when a Muslim says that Americans are evil for allowing women to uncover their hair?
  • Where does the hymnwriter think his troubles originate? Can you think of examples of Satan’s buffeting in daily news or in your own life? When someone says that Christians are hate-filled bigots who want the privilege of pushing other people around, would this hymn point you to a response? What fundamental truth gives the hymnwriter assurance in facing his difficulties?
  • What is the power base of the hymnwriter’s confidence in the face of challenges? After working through his options, what is the hymnwriter’s ultimate response to adversity?

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)

A Hymn for Meditation

English: it is picture of the sheet of the son...
English: it is picture of the sheet of the song “it’s Well With My Soul” of Horatio Spafford. Português: é uma imagem da partitura da canção “It’s Well With My Soul” de Horatio Spafford. Español: es un image de la partitura de la canción “It’s Well With My Soul” de Horatio Spafford. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When 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!

And, Lord, haste 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. 

By Horatio G Spafford

 

  1. Have you ever been blindsided by a shocking event – such as being called into your supervisor’s office a half hour before closing for the announcement you have been laid off, even though 24 hours earlier you were told your performance was the highest in your department? How did you feel? 
  2. The hymnwriter compares sorrows to ocean waves, which can knock you down and roll you over, even on a beach playground. What does the hymnwriter do when he is knocked down? What do you do? 
  3. What does the hymnwriter think will control his reaction to the troubles that have rocked his world? 
  4. What sort of intervention does the writer ask God to make on his behalf? Or does the writer think something has already been done for him? If so, what? 
  5. In order to look forward with confidence, what does the writer look forward to? 
  6. Can you write a prayer that only praises God as a response to something in your life that troubles you?