Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul. – Horatio Spafford
These are the lines taken from a hymn written in 1873, that were born out of grief and sorrow by a man of faith who trusted God in his prosperity, but whose faith was tested later when faced with unimaginable loss.
Sending his wife and four daughters on a ship to Europe, he soon received word that the ship had wrecked en route and all four daughters had perished.
Sooner or later we might all face a season of adversity. Our faith, no matter how great, cannot spare us from that reality. For me, that season is now.
Many hymns, such as this, were penned by those who experienced other adversities and trials. There is a rich theological heritage in the words of hymns, and next to scriptures, these words and melodies came flooding back to me in my time of adversity – whatever my lot, it is well, it is well with my soul.
I grew up with hymns, and have seen evangelical churches, throughout the years, all but discard this heritage in their attempt to be relevant.
As a believer, my faith during times of suffering or adversity, rests in the knowledge that Jesus was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He was beaten with unimaginable cruelty, mocked, and nailed to a cross, where he died. He did this all in human form as a ransom for our sin debt. The divine followed with his resurrection from the dead – and the birth of Christianity.
The point is, that there is nothing in life that you or I go through, that he cannot and will not empathize with. I take great comfort in that.
The words of hymns I grew up with, help assure me of that, and give me peace.
So I leave you with the words from another hymn writer that are just as relevant today, as they were in the late 19th Century when they were penned.
Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort, Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate’er befall me, Jesus doeth all things well, – Francis Crosby (1875)