When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to know,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It is well, (it is well),
With my soul, (with my soul)
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
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 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.
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.
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 shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.
“Get behind me.”
Perfectly reasonable thoughts are sometimes the whispers of Satan. In this story Jesus had just revealed to his disciples the difficult path that lay ahead, a path of rejection, suffering, and death. Peter would have none of this negative talk. He saw Jesus’ future very clearly. In his mind Jesus would take over the rule of the country and throw off the Roman oppressors. This talk of suffering was completely unreasonable. He took Jesus aside and began to tell him how things were going to go. In Peter’s opinion this talk of suffering was not the will of God; Jesus needed to be corrected. Jesus responded to Peter with a stern rebuke of his own. It turned out Peter’s “reasonable” thinking was the very thought of Satan himself.
As the gospel story unfolds we see that Peter did not immediately give up these satanic perspectives. It wasn’t until the witness of the empty tomb and his encounters with the resurrected Christ that he realized that Jesus indeed needed to suffer. It was a slow and painful process, but his rational thoughts and plans for Jesus needed to be surrendered in order for him to get in step with the plan of God.
How often we are stressed because things are not working out the way we have reasoned them to go! We are prone to believe we clearly understand God’s plans for us, our loved ones, and our ministries. Yet our “reasonable” ideas can sometimes be the very thoughts of men planted by Satan himself. In this story the reasonable thoughts excluded the idea of suffering. How like us to want to follow Christ without any form of self denial and suffering! If we believe that a trial-free life is God’s will for us then when the tests come we are unduly stressed because “God’s will” is not being fulfilled.
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you if there are satanic doctrines entrenched in your belief system. He may open your eyes to perfectly reasonable beliefs you have held dear and just assumed to be true. When these thoughts are revealed, surrender them to Christ. This letting go may well be difficult but will go a long way to help you say, “It is well with my soul.”
Prayer Starter: Lord, open my eyes to the blindness human reasoning has imposed on my life.
About the Author: Lyndon Wall served as a pastor in Alberta, Canada for fourteen years. He has also served the Jos, Nigeria mission community by providing pastoral care. Lyndon is the founder of Refresh Ministries, which is dedicated to helping people in ministry enjoy “healthy souls.” Lyndon earned a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
This excerpt is from Lyndon’s devotional book “Refresh“. Lyndon wrote “Refresh“ specifically for pastors, missionaries, and ministry workers whose souls have been parched by the stresses and tests of life. Stress is a reality of life. It can harm and drain us of vital energy. It must be responded to wisely. This devotional book was written to help you encounter Jesus Christ, the great refresher of the soul and give insights that will help you live with a renewed and joyful heart.