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.
Interesting, the contrast of peace as a river, and sorrows as a billowing sea. Contrast and compare. Whatever my lot. But here is the thing, o my soul, it is You, God, who teaches me to say “it is well”. It is not me, not my stoic nature, nor my willful determined-ness (or stubbornness, as the case may be. It is You, and You alone, who teaches me to say that my soul is well. That teaches me that the wellness of my soul is directly proportionate to the truth of your sovereignty. You are before, you are behind, and all is well.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
It is the assurance that you see and know and regard my estate, that controls. It is the knowing that You shed Your blood, for my sins. My sins. My numerous, numerous sins. Regard: specific consideration. You consider my helplessness. My need, for your sacrifice. My inability to ever pay the debt that I owe. And, this is blessed assurance. This is confidence. God, please. Grant me the grace of confidence, that I am yours.
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 our sake. For our sake. For my sake. Not His. He became sin who knew no sin. He didn’t just “experience” sin, He became sin. A willful obedience, a willful choice, so that we might become a righteousness that we could never have known on our own, apart from Him. This is too much, too much to comprehend God, that your forgiveness comes with the grace-soaked righteousness that belongs to you. My sin, not in part. The whole. The entire ugly, hideous whole. Nailed. How can it be?
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.
God, you say “Shhh” to my soul. You whisper peace to my soul. Yes, in death, surely, but also in life. Today, even. You settle my soul. Thou wilt whisper “Shhh” and I will settle and Your peace will consume. Please settle my soul. Tonight. Now. For me, be it Christ. Be it Christ, hence to live.
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!
We are waiting. For your return. I fear not the grave, for the grave is not my goal. Home. That is it. To sit, at your feet. To know assurance of Your forgiveness and salvation beyond any level of assurance we will know in this world. That is the hope, that is blessed. That is the rest, that is blessed.
And Lord, haste the day when the 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.
Haste the day, o God. Haste the day, when this floundering, shaky, tinged-with-doubt, cynical, kernel of faith, becomes sight. Sight that replaces the shakiness with solid steadiness. When any vestiges of doubt are decimated. Even so, come quickly. Even so, it is well, with my soul. Even so, come quickly, Amen.