A Blissful Thought

By Justin Johnson

Philip Bliss wrote the memorable music to the popular song ‘It is Well With My Soul’. Yet it was Horatio Spafford who penned the inspirational lyrics after having lost his children.

What could motivate someone to write such a wondrous thing in light of surrounding calamity and ruin? No doubt, as the lyrics suggest, Horatio was feeling his most vulnerable.

After losing his only son to death and then his fortune to natural disaster his daughters died in a sinking ship. His life had become a nightmare and it was not a result of personal error or wicked acts performed against him.

He could not seek vengeance against an enemy or regret bad decisions made. It was circumstance, mere chance, which placed him into such a helpless estate. What could he do?

Indeed, what can we do? Everyday we find ourselves fighting against the dangerous tide that threatens to sweep us off into a helpless estate.

We buy nutritional supplements, doctors visits, and insurance for everything! Yet in the end we are powerless to defend against natural calamity and disaster. We are truly helpless.

Yet, it was when Horatio Spafford was at his most vulnerable point that he was met with the most blissful of thoughts:

“My sin, Oh the bliss of this glorious thought,
my sin, not in part, but the whole.
He nailed to the cross and I bear it no more.
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, Oh my soul!“

Truly it is the most glorious thought that God recognized our helpless estate of sin and through his power acted upon it. By not sparing his Son, but delivering him up for us, we are saved from hopelessness and death!

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. “ – Romans 5:8-9

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, Oh my soul!

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Published: June 30, 2008
Last Modified: April 20, 2016
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