Friday, July 21, 2006

It Is Well With My Soul

One of my favourite hymns is It Is Well With My Soul. When I learned the story behind it, it took on more meaning to me. While there are often trials and tragedies in our lives, that doesn't have to effect the state of our soul. H.G. Spafford suffered tremendous loss, yet he still had his faith in the Lord and trusted in the midst of his sorrow.

The main thought repeated in this hymn comes from 2 Kings 4:23 and 26. It is the story of the Shunammite woman whose son died but was restored to life again because of her faith in the Lord (see Hebrews 11:35). She knew that whatever happened, the Lord was still in control and it would be well with her and her family.

One line of this hymn has impressed me more than anything else - that is the last line: "Even so," it is well with my soul. The phrase, "Even so", is in quotations because it refers to Revelation 22:20 - even in the midst of the worst time this world will ever face, true believers can still say, "It is well with my soul"!

For background on this hymn, please read Whatever My Lot.

It Is Well With My Soul
(Lyrics: H.G. Spafford; Music: Philip P. Bliss)

1) When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

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

2) Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

3) 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!

4) 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.

5) 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!

6) And Lord, haste the day when my 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.

If you appreciate this hymn and the story behind it, you will especially like the set of computer backgrounds Angela has made up for the main four stanzas. Stanzas 1-3 and six are usually quoted in most hymnals I have seen (and these are the ones Angela has made backgrounds for - just click on the numbers next to those verses above), but I thought the other two were worth reading and thinking about too! Cyberhymnal is a great resource for finding the full version of some of our old-time classic hymns.


  1. This is one of my favorite hymns!

    I can't see Angela's backgrounds :-(

  2. I just contacted Angela to see why these links aren't working (I copied them directly from her TOC). Angela just pmed me and stated the site is down - so just keep trying them and they should work later.

  3. Thank You so much. I heard this song today in Church....but my mind was not fruitful as I could not understand the meaning of "It is well with my soul".
    But you have explained it so left a tear in my eye.Thnak you so much.
    I believe in every circumstance of deserts, deeps, mountains....we need to know this and declare it that "IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL".
    Thats what God wants to hear...for He is in control and He knows whats best for each one of us.
    God bless you.

  4. Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog. This is one of my all-time favourite hymns. It is one that has kept coming back to mind through the loss of my parents and some other trials (including problems with my physical health) that I have experienced the last few years. Whatever my lot in life - whatever the Lord allows to happen to me and works together for my good - because I have a relationship with the Saviour (Jesus Christ), I can always say, "It is well with my soul!"

  5. I love this song too.Great impaction. ^^