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It Is Well

I watched a comedy/documentary about religion this weekend. The entertainer could have found more unlikely folks to talk about Christianity (he missed snake handlers and didn’t even go to a faith healing conference), but he did choose several that appeared stupider and funnier to him than they did to me. People in the main stream media don’t have very high opinions of God these days. It’s rare to find someone in movies or television recognizing the name of God in a hallowed way. I didn’t agree with the conclusions of the documentary, but I watched it to open my eyes to how unbelievers view me and other Christians.

My recent movie experience made the gospel reading this past Sunday stand out to me. Amidst all the opposition and unbelief Jesus faced, this reading had a different reaction. Mark 7:37 says,

“People were overwhelmed with amazement. He has done everything well, they said. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

Now, here’s a situation that stands in stark contrast to the conclusions of the movie I watched. It was like the people were leaving the theater all abuzz about Jesus. Rather than judge Him as a myth or a spoiler of real life—through morality—they were literally overwhelmed with amazement.

What amazed them was when they brought a deaf and mute man to Jesus. Jesus prayed and spit on his tongue, and the man was healed. Jesus told them not to tell others about what He did, but they couldn’t stop talking about it. God got a good review that day.

It’s easy to think that God does everything well when something like this happens, but what about the other times? The times you have prayed for a good result from chemo, or the marriage to be reconciled, or the job offer to be extended? What happens to our evaluation of God when He allows us to suffer? Can you say that He does everything well then?

“He has done everything well” can be pretty difficult to say when you have lost all four of your daughters in the same tragic accident. Charles Spafford, the author of the beloved hymn, It is Well With My Soul, was given grace to live in the peace that God does all things well even in sudden and deep loss (prior to the loss of his four daughters, he had lost a son to illness and material possessions to fire). I wish the entertainer could have interviewed the many Christians who, like Charles Spafford, have faced great tragedies and still have life-giving faith that is simply miraculous.

That kind of faith and belief comes from the reservoir of your soul. Sometimes you need to rely only on your soul to give you the sense that He has indeed done everything well. Circumstances can often communicate the opposite to you.

Does your soul need to be reminded that He has done everything well? Are you feeling overwhelmed with amazement with what God has allowed you to go through? Why don’t you read the words to Spafford’s hymn and learn to talk to your soul the way Spafford did? It is possible for it to be well with your soul no matter how trying your circumstances. When a soul can say it is well in the face of loss is what I find truly amazing.

Copyright © 2009. Deborah R. Newman. Tea Time for Your Soul. All Rights Reserved.

It Is Well With My Soul

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast 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!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life,
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But Lord, 'tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of 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.

Horatio Spafford



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