Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.
~ 2 Thessalonians 1:4 (NIV)
The Apostle Paul praises the church in Thessalonica for their faith and love in the face of persecutions and trials. In essence he is telling them that they are good stewards of their trials, not letting them impact their faith negatively.
I recently heard gospel singer Lynda Randall express this same thought of “being a good steward of the trials I face,” as she introduced her next solo “It is Well With My Soul.”
The lyrics of this hymn were written by Horatio Spafford, a lawyer of some prominence in Chicago. He and his wife Anna had one son and four daughters, and were good friends of D.L. Moody and Ira Sankey for many years. Mr. Spafford’s children had come to Christ through the influence of Ira Sankey’s music. When the Spafford’s son died, the family went into deep mourning.
After two years of ministering to the homeless and needy people of Chicago, Mr. Spafford thought his family needed a vacation. D. L. Moody and Ira Sankey were in England holding evangelistic so Mr. Spafford decided to take his family to England, where they could vacation and also be a help to his friends Moody and Sankey.
He booked passage for his family on the ship SS Ville de Havre, but at the last minute was unable to go with his family due to business. He promised to follow them within a few weeks and they would all be reunited in England.
As the ship sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, it collided with the English ship Lochearn, and sank within 12 minutes. 226 lives were lost, including the four Spafford daughters. Mrs. Spafford was rescued from a floating piece of debris. When she arrived in Wales 10 days later she cabled a message to her husband, “Saved Alone...”
Mr. Spafford booked passage on the next ship heading to England. As the ship crossed the area where the SS Ville de Havre sank, taking his daughters to the ocean’s depths, Mr. Spafford felt the Holy Spirit fill him with a comforting peace. Leaving the ship’s railing he went into his cabin where he penned the hymn that has soothed so many souls who have been broken-hearted...and one which I often hear sung in the meetings of the persecuted church:
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.
RESPONSE: Today I will be a good steward of the trials I face…with faith, love and perseverance.
PRAYER: Thank you Lord for Your faithfulness in all the trials I face. Help me not waste them.