Scripture Readings: Isaiah 3:10; Ecclesiastes 8:12
A story was told of Horatio Spafford. Horatio Spafford (1828-1888) was a wealthy Chicago lawyer with a thriving legal practice, a beautiful home, a wife, four daughters and a son. He was also a devout Christian and faithful student of the Scriptures. At the very height of his financial and professional success, Horatio and his wife Anna, suffered the tragic loss of their young son. Shortly thereafter on October 8, 1871, the Great Chicago Fire destroyed almost every real estate investment that Spafford had.
In 1873, Spafford scheduled a boat trip to Europe in order to give his wife and daughters a much needed vacation and time to recover from the tragedy. He also went to join Moody and Sankey on an evangelistic campaign in England. Spafford sent his wife and daughters ahead of him while he remained in Chicago to take care of some unexpected last minute business. Several days later he received notice that his family’s ship had encountered a collision. All four of his daughters drowned; only his wife survived.
With a heavy heart, Spafford boarded a boat that would take him to his grieving Anna in England. It was on this trip that he penned those now famous words, “When sorrow like sea billows roll; it is well, it is well with my soul…”For more than a century, the tragic story of one man has given hope to countless thousands who have lifted their voices to sing, It Is Well With My Soul. The Holy Spirit calls us to have positive attitude as demonstrated by Spafford, especially when disaster strikes, when our hopes are dashed, when evil news come to us, when the undesirable knocks at our doors, when the unexpected happens, when the undesirable becomes our lots, let us echo with Spafford :“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 With My Soul. Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blest assurance control, That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed His own blood for my soul…” St. Paul writing to to the Philippian Christians advises, “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6-7)
MASS: GREEN 2 Cor 3:15, 4:1.3-6; Ps 85:9ab. 10, 11-12, 13-14 (R.10b); Accl.Jn 13:34; Mt 5:20:26
1. Father we thank You for the beautiful example of our Lord Jesus Christ, who Himself learned obedience through the things that He suffered, and in Whom we see the perfect example of a man whose suffering and death brought great glory to the Father and salvation to a lost and dying world. Thank You that Jesus chose to willingly face intense suffering and persecution in His life, so that by His sacrificial death on the Cross, He might pay the ransom price for sin. Help me to learn the lessons of suffering that are so evident in the life of my Lord Jesus – Who though knew no sin, was willing to suffer for Your greater glory and for the benefit of so many others. Thank You for opening my understanding to the fact that although suffering for righteousness sake may be difficult to bear in the short term, yet You can, in Your grace and wisdom, use it for Your glory and for my eternal benefit. May I, be found obedient and faithful in the things that I may have to suffer for righteousness sake, and may my suffering in this life, be to Your glory God the Father and for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ Who suffered and died for me so that I too may live eternally – in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen
Exercise: Pray Psalms 18:1-3 twice today.
Meditation: Psalms 58:11.