08. It Is Well With My Soul -- Peace

(Photo by Tara Gourley)
This will be my final hymn study. Well, the final one in this series. There are three questions left to answer, but I felt two of these were more personal, and I've already answered them in my heart and mind. So that leaves just one. Now you can see why I've been putting this off. Things end. Such is life.
"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.'"
Notice something about this: it doesn't say "though sorrows," or "if sorrows," it says, "when sorrows." Peace is next to me in the sorrows that seem to overtake me. They are separated by a single comma. I think of God's names: Emmanuel, God With Us. Prince of Peace. With us. Peace with us. No matter what trial the world has thrown our way; maybe even because of the trial, peace is with us. So why not invite it in? We have a choice, you know. Every moment of our lives asks us whether we want to respond in peace or panic. Faith or despair. Forgiveness or bitterness. "Thou hast taught me to say." It doesn't come naturally. We must learn. The man who wrote this hymn did so after hearing of the deaths of his daughters. Our instinct is to panic and to fall apart, but He teaches us peace.

10) Where does my peace come from? (the story)
"My sin--O the joy 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!"
Whatever we face, this is our truth. If we have repented and given our lives to Christ, our sin is washed away; our debt is paid in full. No one can condemn us. He who has seen even our most secret, despicable sins does not accuse us, but fights on our behalf. We are on the winning team. By grace, we've been set free. Praise the Lord! Herein lies my peace: in Christ alone. He has saved me, and now I live for His sake. So why panic? The worst the world can do to me is send me home to my Beloved Maker.
"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 descend,
'Even so'--it is well with my soul."

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