I grew up in a small Baptist church. We sang the hymns every Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night. I remember some thin red “chorus” books but I don’t remember singing from them.
Even now I love singing the hymns, and I also still have most of them memorized. There is just a phenomenal amount of good theology in the hymns. I love our modern day praise songs too, but sometimes I think the theology gets a little whacked. And I always like knowing Who we are singing too.
In church this past Sunday we sang It is Well and for probably the first time I really paid attention to the words and the story of how it came to be written kept coming to mind.
It dawned fresh on me that this song is not written in denial. This song is not saying “deny any hardship in your life because it’s well with your soul“. Not at all. This isn’t a “shove it under the rug and don’t deal with it because it’s well with your soul.”
This song is teaching us that even when life throws curve balls at us, when satan throws everything in his arsenal at us, when we’re doing life and life is hard, we can say “It is well with my soul” because none of that can touch our soul! That is all external. Our soul is hidden deep in the deep, deep love of Jesus and it is secure because Jesus makes it secure!
He makes it well with our soul. When life hurts, our soul is safe from harm as it is held in the sweet hands of our loving Savior. A Savior who desires our refinement, our sanctification, our highest good all the time.
It’s an oft-used cliche and one I really struggle to use, “God is good…..all the time.” I know He is. I am afraid though that cliche is only spoken when God does something that is good in our eyes. When life is hard, how many times do we say “God is good….all the time”?
I honestly have never heard it come from someone’s mouth. But with our soul safe and secure with Jesus it is well with our soul. We can know that God is good no matter what. Not because He does things we like or we think are good for us or because He moves in some way that makes Himself almost visible to us.
Because His very nature is good.