In a paper, I argued that โ€œIt is well with my soulโ€ lacked a biblical foundation, and my point was not challenged. I know this song has emotional value, and I am not criticizing people who like this song, are comforted by it, or have memories.

๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐ฅ๐จ๐ญ, ๐“๐ก๐จ๐ฎ ๐ก๐š๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ญ๐š๐ฎ๐ ๐ก๐ญ ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฌ๐š๐ฒ: โ€œ๐ˆ๐ญ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ, ๐ข๐ญ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ, ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ.โ€

When we face suffering and difficulties, does the Lord teach us to say: โ€œIt is well with my soul?โ€ Or is this positive thinking? Telling one another, โ€œI am okay!โ€?

๐†๐จ๐ ๐ญ๐ž๐š๐œ๐ก๐ž๐ฌ ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐š๐œ๐ค๐ง๐จ๐ฐ๐ฅ๐ž๐๐ ๐ž ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ซ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐š๐ง๐ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฉ๐š๐ข๐ง. In times of difficulties, when you feel the pain cut through your heart, Scripture does not teach you to pray to God: โ€œLord, it is well with my soul,โ€ but allows you to cry with Job: โ€œ๐Œ๐ฒ ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž๐ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง ๐ฆ๐ž.โ€ (Job 30: 16) And, yet, Job’s lips did not sin. (Job 1: 31)

You may join King David in his lament: โ€œ๐Œ๐ฒ ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ ๐š๐ฅ๐ฌ๐จ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐ซ๐จ๐ฎ๐›๐ฅ๐ž๐,โ€ (Psalm 6:3) and, โ€œ๐ง๐จ ๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐œ๐š๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ.โ€ (Psalm 142:4)

When you feel God at a far distance, donโ€™t tell yourself, โ€œIt is well with my soul,โ€ but join the voiced of the sons of Korah: โ€œ๐Œ๐ฒ ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ซ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐†๐จ๐.โ€ (Psalm 42:2)

When your ongoing troubles make you frustrated and upset, having sleepless nights, God listens when you say: โ€œ๐Œ๐ฒ ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ž๐ฆ๐›๐ข๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ž๐,โ€ (Psalm 73:12) and โ€œ๐Œ๐ฒ ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ ๐ซ๐ž๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐ž ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ญ๐ž๐.โ€ (Psalm 77:2) He provided laments to express our emotion: โ€œ๐Œ๐ฒ ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐›๐ž๐ซ๐ž๐Ÿ๐ญ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฉ๐ž๐š๐œ๐ž.โ€ (Lam 3:17)

The emotional pain of broken relationships can make the world dark in the middle of summer. Pray with Jesus: โ€œMy soul is very sorrowful!โ€ (Matt 26:38) Echo Isaiahโ€™s words: โ€œ๐Œ๐ฒ ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ ๐ฒ๐ž๐š๐ซ๐ง๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ.โ€ (Isaiah 26:9) Find hope and comfort in Jesus’ promise: โ€œ๐˜๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ง๐ ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ฌ.โ€ (Matt 11:29)

Psalm 42 wonders: โ€œWhy are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?โ€ to confess: โ€œHope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.โ€ Scripture’s language is different than: โ€œ…when sea billows roll, it is well with my soul.โ€

God may have taught us to be content (Philippians 4:11), to have peace (Romans 5:1-2), He commands us to rejoice (Phil 4:4) and to give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thess. 5:16-18), but it seems these things are different than the state of our soul. Yes, at his time God will make it well with my soul, restoring peace, wiping every tear away!! (Revelation 21:1-4) But in the meantime we may walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

When we sing, it is crucial to sing Godโ€™s truth, especially if we want to worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:24) Yes, I sing and accompany โ€œIt is well,โ€ but my mind wonders: who taught us to say this…? The Lord or Spafford? Does it please us or God when we sing this song?


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