God is Good, all the time.
All the time, God is good.
Sitting in my comfortable pew in our climate-controlled sanctuary, it takes little effort for me to agree that those are true statements. But when "life happens", the fact of Godís goodness may not be one of my first thoughts. How I react to the next jolt in my life will largely depend on my relationship with Him prior to that time. When life hammers my thumb, I canít fake my response.
Whether or not you have heard the account of Horatio Spafford, it illustrates the depth of one manís belief and trust in Godís goodness. It is my firm conviction that his reaction was the fruit of time spent with the Master BEFORE the storm hit.
In the 1870s Horatio Spafford was a successful Chicago lawyer and a close friend of evangelist Dwight L. Moody. Spafford had invested heavily in real estate, but the Chicago fire of 1871 wiped out his holdings. His son had died shortly before the disaster. Spafford and his family desperately needed a rest so in 1873 he planned a trip to Europe with his wife and four daughters. While in Great Britain he also hoped to help Moody and Sankey with their evangelistic tour.
Last minute business caused Spafford to delay his departure, but he sent his wife and four daughters on the S.S. Ville Du Havre as scheduled, promising to follow in a few days. On November 22 the ship was struck by the English ship Lochearn, and it sank in twelve minutes. Several days later the survivors landed at Cardiff, Wales, and Mrs. Spafford cabled her husband the brief message, "Saved alone."
When Horatio Spafford made the ocean crossing to meet his grieving wife, he sailed near the place where his four daughters had sunk to the ocean depths. There, in the midst of his sorrow, he wrote these unforgettable words that have brought solace to so many in grief:
It Is Well with My Soul
1. 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.
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. 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.
Refrain: It is well, with my soul, it is well, it is well with my soul.
Text: Horatio G. Spafford
Music: Philip P. Bliss
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