Journey in the Word

Karen Ingrid Clark

Hymn Study- It is Well With My Soul

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Week 1 – Day 3 – Hymns for Today, Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Scripture for this Hymn Study – ISAIAH 66:12-14, JOB 19:25-26, JAMES 5:7-11, COLOSSIANS 2:13-14

“Whatever my lot, You have taught me to say, “It is well, it is well with my soul!” (1)

ISAIAH 66:12 -14 (ESV) – 12  For thus says the Lord:  “Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream;  and you shall nurse, you shall be carried upon her hip, and bounced upon her knees.  13  As one whom his mother comforts,  so I will comfort you;  14 You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice;  your bones shall flourish like the grass;  and the hand of the Lord shall be known to his servants,  and he shall show his indignation against his enemies.

Job 19:25-26(ESV)- 25 For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth.  26 And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God,

James 5:7-11 (ESV) – Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. 10 As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.11 Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

Colossians 2:13-14 (ESV) – 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.

Scripture Reflection –

In Isaiah, God says that He will extend peace like a river – HE will do the extending.  It does not have to come from us – BUT from Him within us!  He will give us HIS comfort – just like a mother gives comfort to a hurting child.  The picture of God here is of a loving parent, wrapping us in His arms, surrounding us with HIS comfort.

Job made the declaration that he KNEW that his Redeemer lives.  Whatever the circumstances, (and his were dire) He knew that at the very end – He would see God.  We need to keep eternity in view, whatever the circumstances are that we are going through! Job had lost his family, his wealth, his way of living, his health – everything but his wife and life itself.  Yet – he was able to say “I know that my Redeemer lives!”

James exhorts us to WAIT on the Lord, to be patient – to “strengthen our hearts” (keep them energized and firmly committed to God- AMP) BECAUSE the coming of the Lord is near.  I love how the Amplified version puts James 4:11 – “You know we call those blessed [happy, spiritually prosperous, favored by God] who were steadfast and endured [difficult circumstances]. You have heard of the patient endurance of Job and you have seen the Lord’s outcome [how He richly blessed Job]. The Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.”  Do I endure patiently?  Am I steadfast and secure in my trust of God?  We are called to strengthen our hearts – there is effort on our part, but God is the one who carries us!

Paul, in Colossians, declares that we WERE dead in our sins, BUT God has made us ALIVE together with Christ!  Christ has the saving power – by forgiving our sins through His death on the cross.  He settled our “debt” of sin, satisfying God’s wrath.  Yes – He nailed our sins to the cross – our debt.  It is a legal settlement – our “certificate of debt” – our sins, were nailed to the cross.  Completely removed!

Hymn Reflection –

Ho­ra­tio G. Spaf­ford, 1873

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.

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.


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!


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.


This hymn has been a rock of remembrance in my life.  There have been many times that I have clung to the thought of God’s perfect peace, despite my circumstances.  When my husband left me, along with our 18 month old, I clung to the fact that God was there.   I played this hymn for my dad’s funeral.  I played it as an offertory the Sunday after the Christian School that I had ministered at for 23 years closed.  It was played during Paul’s processional during our wedding a few months ago.  Whether in grief or sorrow, or in joy and remembrance, this hymn has been a bolstering force in my life.  “Whatever my lot, You have taught me to say, “It is well, it is well with my soul!”

But it goes deeper than circumstances around me.  It is knowing that Christ has “shed His own blood for my soul.”  He died – for me.  He nailed MY sins to the cross – not “in part, but the whole.”  ALL my sins!  I bear them NO MORE!  My sins are gone.  Forgiven.  “Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord, O my soul!”

It is Well with My Soul – by Greg Howlett, one of my favorite pianists….


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