The question is; is it well with your soul? If you say yes without reflecting I would say you should dig a deeper well. Sure a person of shallow faith would say I go to church, it’s all good but are you really the church? I do believe a person could say it is well but you would either be in the repentant stage pleading with God or your life would resemble the New Testament with the Holy Spirit flowing in power. We know that the Holy Spirit isn’t flowing in power so you would be calling out to God pleading for His mercy to fall on the church. But I don’t believe your soul could be at peace with the condition of the church. Paul says, Philippians 2:12 “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” We need to understand the “Day of the Lord” will be dreaded. Malachi 4:5 “See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. 6 He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.” Well we already know that the prophet Elijah has already been sent and woefully we are seeing the destruction of the land. Mark 9:11 “And they asked him, “Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?” 12 Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all things. Why then is it written that the Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected? 13 But I tell you, Elijah has come, and they have done to him everything they wished, just as it is written about him.” Jesus said in Matthew 11:14 “And if you are willing to accept it, he (John the Baptist) is the Elijah who was to come. 15 Whoever has ears, let them hear.” Obviously thee are a lot of deaf people. Notice a few verses later “20 Jesus began to denounce the towns in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the Day of Judgment than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades. For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. 24 But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”
How can a person say it is well with my soul if they don’t even believe what Jesus himself says. These people did not even repent when they saw the miracles. In our day where there are all but a few miracles, people do not even repent. The bottom line is you can’t say it is well if you do not believe and no I am not talking about if it so moved God to heal. I am talking about the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in power. It should be it is not well and we fall on our faces in repentance but most will not repent and continue to travel their own empty ways.
The song “It is Well with My Soul” is everywhere nowadays. You have it sung from the Gaithers to Kutless and every one in between and even just portions mixed into new songs and yes people sing it with deep emotion. But do we really sing it with the truth of our situations. On Sunday we talked about Job and his insurmountable loss. He said, Job 1:21 “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” And then Job 2:9 “His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” 10 He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” Most people who sing this song have never had anything close to this happen to them. And then there are many who sing yet don’t read their bibles, commit or submit to Jesus yet they say it is well with my soul. Will they really persevere if “satan should buffet, though trials should come”?
It is really important to reflect on our lives before God. No I am not saying just think about it for a bit and pat yourself on the back, get into the word and see if your reflection looks like Jesus. Most people would answer yes they are just fine but not according to the word of God. If you have submitted to false gospels you have been marked already, it is not well with your soul. That’s the wrong image to be looking like. Revelation 15:2 “And I saw what looked like a sea of glass glowing with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and its image and over the number of its name.” We want to be victorious over the beast and to be in God’s image but many are deceived. 2 Corinthians 4:4 “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” Remember that unbelievers are in the church also and the bible mostly is talking to them. Revelation 3:20 “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone (referring to - 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see) hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” We are predestined to look like and do what Jesus did in the power of the Holy Spirit and then go out in the power of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 4:11 “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
So when you sing or listen to this song do not deceive yourself. James 1:22 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.” Jesus said, Matthew 15:7 “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: 8 “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.”
I am going to borrow the history of this song and then leave you with the song itself so that you can reflect on your image.
“The author, Horatio G. Spafford (1828-1888), was a Presbyterian layman from Chicago. He had established a very successful legal practice as a young businessman and was also a devout Christian. Among his close friends were several evangelists including the famous Dwight L. Moody, also from Chicago. Spafford’s fortune evaporated in the wake of the great Chicago Fire of 1871. Having invested heavily in real estate along Lake Michigan’s shoreline, he lost everything overnight. In a saga reminiscent of Job, his son died a short time before his financial disaster. But the worst was yet to come. Hymnologist Kenneth Osbeck tells the story: “Desiring a rest for his wife and four daughters as well as wishing to join and assist Moody and [his musician Ira] Sankey in one of their campaigns in Great Britain, Spafford planned a European trip for his family in 1873. In November of that year, due to unexpected last-minute business developments, he had to remain in Chicago, but sent his wife and four daughters on ahead as scheduled on the S.S. Ville du Havre. He expected to follow in a few days. “On November 22 the ship was struck by the Lochearn, an English vessel, and sank in twelve minutes. Several days later the survivors were finally landed at Cardiff, Wales, and Mrs. Spafford cabled her husband, ‘Saved alone.’” Spafford left immediately to join his wife. This hymn is said to have been penned as he approached the area of the ocean thought to be where the ship carrying his daughters had sunk. Another daughter, Bertha, was born in 1878 as well as a son, Horatio, in 1880, though he later died of scarlet fever.”
Here are the words of this song:
1. 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, it is well with my soul.
2. 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.
3. 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!
4. 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.
According the word of God is it really well with your soul. Is your Hebrews 11:1 “faith confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see? Is God absolutely sovereign in your life? Do you really fear him? Matthew 10:28 “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” James 1:2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” 1 Peter 1:6 “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”