Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday evening, June 17, 2001, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia.
IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL
By Michael D. O’Neal Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church Albany, Georgia
Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 4:17-26
Text: 2 Kings 4:26
2 Kings 4:26 Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well.
Introduction: The chapter tells a story of a very blessed woman. She had more spiritual discernment, it appears, than did her husband. She was a woman of great faith. She was hospitable and respectful toward the man of God, and the Lord blessed her for it with a son. Her son had died in her arms. She went to the man of God in her time of trouble, a good example for every lady in this church. When the prophet’s servant asked her of her welfare, she declared, IT IS WELL.
Her child was dead, and she said, “It is well.” What an amazing statement! Most people can only say that when it is well with their:
- Fitness and physical health
Perhaps my favorite of all hymns is the one written by H.G. Spafford, “It Is Well With My Soul.” I want to say tonight, like the Shunammite woman, “It is well,” for it is well with my SOUL. I want to give you some scriptural reasons tonight for saying that. If it is not well with YOUR soul, that can change tonight. It’s up to you. God will make it well with your soul, IF you will LET Him.
I. IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL BECAUSE OF THE PERSON OF THE SAVIOR
Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
A. I have a sweetness within while there is a sadness without
- Job 35:10 But none saith, Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night;
- Psalms 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
B. I have strength within while there is weakness without
- Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
C. I have a supply from above while there is little below
- Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
II. IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL BECAUSE OF THE PARDON OF MY SINS
Romans 4:6-8 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, 7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
A. My sins have been pardoned without my works
- Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
B. My sins have been pardoned without my worth
- I didn’t DESERVE God’s pardon.
- I got MERCY!
- Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
C. My sins have been pardoned without my waiting
- Thank God, I have pardon NOW!
- I have eternal life NOW!
- I don’t have to wait until the resurrection, or until the Judgment!
- 1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
- 1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
III. IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL BECAUSE OF THE PRESENCE OF THE SPIRIT
Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
A. The Spirit of God COMFORTS me
B. The Spirit of God CONDUCTS me
C. The Spirit of God COUNSELS me
IV. IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL BECAUSE OF THE PROMISES OF THE SCRIPTURES
1 Kings 8:56 Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.
2 Peter 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
Oh, there are so MANY promises in the word of God for the believer:
A. The promise of salvation
B. The promise of security
C. The promise of supply
D. The promise of success
E. The promise of strength
And, one more promise comes to mind, which is the subject of my last point:
V. IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL BECAUSE OF THE PROSPECT OF THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST
John 14:1-3 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
GLORY TO GOD! Consider the blessings of the Second Coming for the believer:
A. The return of Christ PERSONALLY
B. The rapture and redemption of our vile bodies
C. The removal of ourselves from this evil world
D. The reunion of God’s people of all ages
E. The reality of heaven
IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL!
Regardless of the SITUATION:
“When peace like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll, Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, ‘It is well, It is will with my soul’.”
Regardless of SATAN:
“Tho Satan should buffet, tho trials should come, Let this blest assurance control, That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate, and hath shed His own blood for my soul.”
Regardless of my SIN:
“My sin — O the bliss of this glorious tho’t! 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.”
Tragedy was associated with the writing of the words of the famous gospel hymn above, “It is Well With My Soul,” and followed closely the composing of the music. H.G. Spafford (1828-1888) wrote the poem in the mid-Atlantic over the exact spot where his four children had drowned a few days before. His wife and children were sailing to France on the “Ville du Havre,” one of the largest ships afloat. It was rammed by an English iron sailing vessel and sank to the bottom of the ocean within two hours, killing 226 people. Mrs. Spafford lived, but the four children were lost.
Just weeks before this tragic drowning, Spafford had lost everything he owned in the great Chicago fire. And now, if not tested enough, he lost all of his beloved children. As soon as it could be arranged he sailed to Europe to join his wife. On the way, December 1872, the Captain of his ship pointed out to him the spot where the tragedy had occurred. Here in the dark of night, with a heart heavy with grief and pain, but surging with faith and hope, Spafford wrote these words:
When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll, Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul!
Philip Paul Bliss, great song leader and composer, wrote the music for this hymn in November, 1876. Two weeks after it had been written, Bliss and his wife were killed in a tragic train crash in Ashtabula, Ohio. It was said by witnesses that Bliss could have escaped, but chose to die by the side of his wife, who was caught in the flaming wreckage.