It Is Well With My Soul

Posted on 07/09/2006 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.

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Good morning! It is truly a blessing to see you here today, as we all gather together to inquire of the Lord, to seek his presence, to hear his Word, and to offer him our love.

Let's all stand to our feet, as we open with prayer.

Lord God, thank you for giving all of us here the means and the desire to gather together in your name. I ask that each one here would encounter you in a special way today, and that we would all leave a little bit closer to you.

And it's in Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

Click-touch the pulpit for a notecard, and let's praise God with song.

*** choose your connection speed to join us in worship, including a special recording of today's theme hymn ***


For thou O Lord art high
above all the earth
You are exalted far above all gods.

And I exalt thee, I exalt thee, I exalt thee
O Lord


To him who sits on the throne
and unto the Lamb
To him who sits on the throne
and unto the Lamb
Be blessing and honor and glory
and power forever


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.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with 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!

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with 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.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Amen and amen!

You may be seated.

In Psalm chapter 46 verses 1 through 3 we read, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof."

Sometimes we don't feel as though it is well with our soul. When we're going through the valley of the shadow of death, we may say, "It is not so well with my soul."

And yet we should remember that "although I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will not fear, for God is with me!"

When we feel as though all is not indeed well with our soul, we must remember it is our choice, and we should make the choice to say, "It is well with my soul!"

In Psalm 103 verses one through six, the psalmist writes this:

"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: who forgives all your sins, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, who satisties your mouth with good things so your youth is renewed like the eagle's."

Here the psalmist is telling his soul, "Bless the Lord, soul! All that is within me, bless his holy name!"

Sometimes we need to give our souls direction. If we let our souls decide what kind of a day, or week, or month, or year we're going to have, when trials come we are almost guaranteed to plunge into despair.

But if we instead, when the day is bright and sunny and when the night is long and cold, tell our souls, "Bless the Lord, O my soul! And all that is within me, bless his holy name!", then we will find the night doesn't seem so cold, the valley doesn't seem so long, and the mire can not pull us under.

We can have calm in the midst of any storm, serenity in the center of any upheaval, and peace in the middle of any situation.

And how do we have that peace in our hearts and in our minds that God is still on the throne, and all is well with our souls?

We read in Philippians chapter four verses eight through nine, "Finally, bretheren, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about these things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me-put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."

Don't we tend to think about the negative? When we worry and are afraid, we're not thinking about God's promises, his goodness, his faithfulness, and we're not pressing into his presence seeking a deeper walk with him. Rather, we're thinking out our problems, what has happened or could happen, and all the negative and frightening details surrounding our situation.

I'm reminded of the time the disciples where crossing the sea at night, while Jesus had stayed behind to pray. A horrible storm arose, and the disciples were struggling for their lives.

Then Jesus came to them walking on the water.

Let's read this from Matthew chapter 14, beginning with verse 22: (through 33)

Immediately Jesus bid His disciples to get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray.

Now when evening came, He was alone there. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.

Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”

And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So Jesus said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.

But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”

I find it interesting that as long as Peter's eyes were on Jesus, he was able to walk on water. It wasn't because Peter was super spiritual, or because he was so wrapped up in the moment he was able to do the impossible; rather, it was because he was obeying the Word of the Lord, "Come." And as he stepped out in faith and obedience to the Word of the Lord, keeping his eyes upon Jesus, he was able to walk over the raging storms of death and destruction as if they were dry land.

But notice here that Peter did what we all do at times. He began to look around at the raging storm. He saw the waves crashing all around, and knew that beneath his feet was not solid ground, but a dark, churning, deadly sea, like a deep, merciless grave pulling him to his death.

And what happened? He began to sink.

Isn't this so true in our lives? We may have had times in which we were in the presence of the Lord and all our problems seemed to disappear. We may have had periods of time in which we were starting each day in his presence and praising him throughout each day, and everything seemed brighter, and our future was filled with wonder and hope.

So what has changed? Has God changed? According to Hebrews 13:8, God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He simply does not, has not, nor ever will change.

True, our circumstances change, just as the circumstances in which the disciples found themselves changed. Just a short time before this storm, they were on dry land with Jesus, with the sea peacefully lapping the shore behind them, and the Master speaking words of life to multitudes who had come to seek him.

So their circumstances did indeed change. And yet, even in the middle of these circumstances, something incredible happened. Would Peter have walked on water back on the shore where everything was sunny and calm?

If we keep our eyes upon Jesus and obey his Word in all circumstances and situations, we will find that our darkest, most perilous plight is simply an opportunity for God to display his glory. We will not walk on the water during the good times. It is during our greatest hour of need that a miracle from Heaven can carry us through.

In Philippians 4:4-7 we read: "Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, Rejoice! Let your moderation be known unto all. The Lord is at hand. Be worried about nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

When we feel the weight of our circumstances, we should go to the Lord and tell him about it. We should cry out to Jesus, "Lord, let me walk to you even on these troubled waters." When we seek to get closer to Jesus in our storm, that is when great things can happen.

And after we tell him our need and draw close to him, we thank him. Do you believe he hears you when you pray? He most certainly does. And since he hears you, and since he is good, and since he has promised to take care of you, thank him! Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, Rejoice!

The writer of the hymn "It Is Well With My Soul", Horatio G. Spafford, wrote this hymn in memory of his four precious daughters who were killed in a boat wreck, drowned in the cold, dark sea.

Isaiah 26:3 says, "You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you."

Perhaps you have never lost four precious daughters, perhaps you have; but whatever your journey, whatever your shadows, whatever your burdens, you can say today, "It is well with my soul!"

I will ask the ministry team to come stand at the front now.

God's will for your life is not for you to be in torment. God's will is not for you to live in depression or dread. He promises to keep you at perfect peace if you will give your problems to him, let go of them trusting him to take care of you, and then keep your thankful heart and mind on him.

When Peter looked around him and started to sink, he cried out to Jesus, "Lord, save me!" And Jesus stretched out his hand and pulled him to safety. He will do the same for you today. "Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved."

If you need peace in your life, God is present here today to give you peace. If you need rest today, God is here today to give you rest.

Jesus says to you in Matthew 11:28-29, "Come unto me all you who are weary and heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."

If you want peace and rest today, come to the front now and let us pray with you.

And if you have not invited Jesus to get in your boat with you, if you have not yet given your life to Jesus and started a personal walk with him, today you have the opportunity to finally be at peace. You can know today what it truly means to say, "It is well with my soul!"

Whether you are already walking with Jesus, or want to rededicate your life to him, or want to start a walk with him today, if you want peace and rest and to say "It is well with my soul", come to the front and pray with us now.

As we play the song "It Is Well With My Soul" again, come to the front and instant message one of the ministry team. Today is your day to find rest. Today is your day to find peace. Today is your day to say, "It is well with my soul!"

The rest of you please stay around for our time of fellowship in the room to your left.

And may God bless all of you this week with peace, with rest, with the assurance that God is on the throne as you keep him on the throne of your heart and your life, and may you all say with assurance, "It is well with my soul!"