Philippians 4:7 “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Years ago, I heard the story of this beloved hymn penned by hymnist Horatio Spafford, “It Is Well with My Soul”, which has been a source of much comfort to many. The hymn was written in memory of the author’s four precious daughters who had just perished in a shipwreck and his wife barely rescued. This hymn was written after traumatic events in Spafford's life. The first was the death of his son at the age of 2 and the 1871 Great Chicago Fire, which ruined him financially (he had been a successful lawyer and had invested significantly in property in the area of Chicago that was extensively damaged by the great fire). His business interests were further hit by the economic downturn of 1873, at which time he had planned to travel to Europe with his family on the SS Ville du Havre. In a late change of plan, he sent the family ahead while he was delayed on business concerning zoning problems following the Great Chicago Fire. While crossing the Atlantic, the ship sank rapidly after a collision with a sea vessel, the Loch Earn, and all four of Spafford's daughters died. His wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, "Saved alone …". Through it all, the couple maintained faith in their sovereign God and could say through their tears: “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.”
Matthew 28:20 “and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
We know from God’s Holy Word that our Lord has not promised us a life of ease, free from heartache and tragedy, but He has promised to be with us. Psalm 23:4 says, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” God’s promise of provision to Israel applies, in principle, to us. We stand upon the promises of God.
Isaiah 43:1-3 “But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place.”
The prerequisite for the “peace of God, which passes all understanding” promised in our opening verse is that we be anxious “for nothing; but in ever thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” - Philippians 4:6. We must all of our trust in the Lord and lean not on our own understanding. Peace with God and the peace of God are blessings that never stop giving back.
Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.”
In Christ, Brian