In a paper, I argued that “It is well with my soul” lacked a biblical foundation. I know this song has emotional value, and I am not criticizing people who like this song, are comforted by it, or have memories. I like the song too.

Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say: “It is well, it is well, with my soul.”

When we face suffering and difficulties, does the Lord teach us to say: “It is well with my soul?” Or is this positive thinking? Telling one another, “I am okay!”?

  • God teaches us to acknowledge our suffering and our pain. In times of difficulties, when you feel the pain cut through your heart, Scripture does not teach you to pray to God: “Lord, it is well with my soul,” but allows you to cry with Job: “My soul is poured out within me.”
  • You may join King David in his lament: “My soul also is greatly troubled,” and “no one cares for my soul.”
  • When you feel God at a far distance, don’t tell yourself, “It is well with my soul,” but join the voices of the sons of Korah: “My soul thirsts for God.”
  • When your ongoing troubles make you frustrated and upset, having sleepless nights, God listens when you say: “My soul is embittered,” and “my soul refuses to be comforted.” He provided laments to express our emotion: ” My soul is bereft of peace.”
  • The emotional pain of broken relationships can make the world dark in the middle of summer. Pray with Jesus: “I pray, deliver my soul!” Echo Isaiah’s words: “My soul yearns for you.” Find hope and comfort in Jesus’ promise: “You will find rest for your souls.”
  • Psalm 42 wonders: “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?” to confess: “Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.”

Scripture’s language is different than: “When sea billows roll, it is well with my soul.”

Yes, at his time God will make it well with my soul, restoring peace, wiping every tear away!! But in the meantime, we may walk through the valley of the shadow of death. We don’t know if Spafford lost his faith because of his views expressed in this hymn. When we sing, it is crucial to sing God’s truth, especially if we want to worship in spirit and truth.

Yes, I sing and accompany “It is well,” but my mind wonders: who taught us to say…? The Lord or Spafford?

Comments are closed.