"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you..." Ephesians 1:18
International Assembly of God 3949 E. 9 Mile Rd., Warren, MI 48091 Phone: 586-755-0500 www.internationalag.org
in the midst of life’s storms
It is well with my soul is one of the most beloved Christian hymns of all time. The hymn was penned in 1873 by Horatio Spafford, a successful lawyer and a real estate investor in Chicago. The hymn was written after traumatic events in Spafford's life. Spafford and his wife, Anna, had one son and four daughters. He was a prosperous man and a devout Christian. Like Job in the Old Testament of the Bible, tragedy came in one after the other to this happy home. Spafford’s only son died of scarlet fever at the age of four. The following year, while still mourning the loss of their son, Spafford lost his entire investments in the Great Chicago Fire. Two years later, Spafford decided to go on a holiday trip to Europe with his family. Although they planned to go together, he had to stay back in Chicago for a pressing business need. He sent his wife and four children to Europe ahead and planned to join them later. On the voyage, the ship Anna and their four daughters were traveling on struck another vessel and sank rapidly. Only Anna survived; she sent a hauntingly brief telegram to Spafford bearing the words “Saved alone.” (Source)
One can imagine Spafford’s grief and sorrow upon receiving this news. No doubt he was shattered by the loss of his daughters, but he turned to the faithfulness of God in the midst of his pain. Spafford set out to meet Anna and as his ship neared the place where his daughters had drowned, he was inspired to write the lyrics for the hymn It is Well with My Soul. This hymn proclaims the message of peace during the storms of life and the hope we have in Christ. No doubt, Spafford enjoyed a closer walk with the Lord and his faith and trust in the Lord is truly inspiring.Where does this perfect peace come from and how can we attain it? There is a beautiful verse in Isaiah that teaches us a lot about experiencing such peace in life.
As we live in this world, we will face storms; this may include illness, barrenness, unemployment, bereavement, pressures at work, relationship difficulties, financial crises, persecutions, etc. It is the inmost desire of every human being to be at perfect peace. Peace is not the absence of problems, but the presence of God’s divine sufficiency in the midst of our problems, trials and tribulations.
“You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26: 3
Find perfect peace in Jesus
The term “peace” is described in the Scripture as a gift from God and is the fruit of the Spirit. This peace is not the peace that the world can give us, and it is not dependent on our circumstances. This is the peace from God, “which surpasses all understanding”. This is a free gift from God to those who are saved. Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1).
Let our minds “stay” on God
Prophet Isaiah explains how we can be at perfect peace. To be at perfect peace, our minds must be stayed upon the Lord himself (Isaiah 26:3). Jesus gave the great commandment to love the Lord your God with all your mind. (Matthew 22: 37). We are to love the Lord with all our minds and keep our minds set on God and His promises. When we keep our minds fixed on the Word, and think deeply about His love, mercy, goodness and grace, he fills us with His joy and peace. To be at perfect peace, we have to keep our minds constantly fixed on Him and have a constant communion with Him. The way of peace is to walk and talk with God. When we do this, He will guard our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4: 6).
Trust in the Lord
Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart”. This trust is not partial but complete trust in God, knowing that everything that happens in our life is directly under God’s control. Trusting in the Lord is the realization that He is concerned about us to the extent that the very hairs of our head are numbered, and nothing will happen in our life without His knowledge. This trust is the realization that we are covered under His wings (Psalm 91: 4); His right hand upholds us (Psalm 63: 8). This trust is that He is the maker of heavens and the earth and there is nothing too hard for Him (Jeremiah 32:17). Today, if you are feeling overwhelmed with the storms of life, look to Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Let your mind stay on Him and trust that He is in control. He will not leave you nor forsake you. He will give you the peace to overcome any situation, and you too can sing like Spafford, It is well, it is well with my soul.
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International Assembly Of God, 3949 E. 9 Mile Rd., Warren, MI 48091