- Sacred Songs
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Should we praise God only when we feel like it? What if we are having a bad day, should we still force ourselves to remember how good God is?
Stephen Crawford tells us this story:
“In October 1871, the Great Chicago Fire brought the city of Chicago to ashes along with the financial state of one prominent lawyer, Horatio Spafford. Desiring a respite for his devastated family, he sent his wife and four young children on a ship for a holiday in Europe, where he would join them later. His family’s ship would never make it to Europe. While crossing the Atlantic the steamship was struck by a passing iron vessel and 226 passengers lost their lives, including his eleven-year-old Tanetta, nine-year-old Bessie, five-year-old Margaret Lee, and two-year-old Annie. Only his wife survived, sending him a telegram from England with the simple words, “Saved alone.” Horatio Spafford took the journey across the Atlantic to meet his wife in England. It was on this journey—over the same waters that drowned and swallowed his four precious children—that he penned the original lyrics to “It is Well with My Soul”:
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.
When we lose everything we find out what we really have in Christ. When all else fails you see that Jesus never fails. In reality, we don’t deserve anything but hell, but through the grace of God, we have access to heaven!
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!
It was through the work of Christ that God “[forgave] us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” (Colossians 2:13–14 ESV).
We can have peace knowing that there is a future where wrongs will be made right and pain will be no more!
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.
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4 ESV).
Even in the darkest of days, there is still a reason to praise, even when we are hurting, even when we feel like we are drowning in sorrow. Choose to praise through the pain and you too will be able to say, “It is Well with My Soul.”