|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “The end of anxiety and despair”
Our Bible verse for today: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “Is it well with your soul?”
Horatio Spafford was a successful lawyer in Chicago in the mid-to-late 1800s. Unfortunately, he invested heavily in expensive real estate along the shores of Lake Michigan and he lost it all during the great Chicago fire of 1871. Several months after that disaster, he booked a trip to Europe for himself, his wife, and their four daughters. But business matters forced him to stay in Chicago for a short while longer and he sent his wife and daughters ahead of him. Sadly, their ship sank in the Atlantic and only his wife survived.
Imagine suffering financial disaster and losing most of your life savings, and then three months later all four of your children die in a single accident! That would crush the souls of most people. Horatio Spafford did suffer deep despair, but his faith in God was strong before all this happened, and so he leaned heavily on the Lord to get him through it. As a result, out of that tragedy, he ended up writing one of the best-loved and most reassuring hymns of all time, “It Is Well with My Soul”:
“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.
It is well … with my soul … It is well, it is well with my soul.
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.
It is well … with my soul … It is well, it is well with my soul.”
Horatio Spafford could have lived the rest of his life in deep despair and endless anxiety, but he didn’t. He grieved his losses, he leaned on the Lord, and he and his wife picked up the pieces of their lives and walked forward into the future side-by-side and with Jesus.
Life is filled with trials and tribulations, and there are always issues that could cause us to be anxious and in despair. I’m not suggesting that as Christians we won’t experience anxiety and despair, but I am saying we don’t have to be controlled by it. Anxiety and despair do not have to define our lives.
Our theme for this month is “The end of anxiety and despair”. By that I don’t mean that we will never experience it. But I do mean that we can deal with it, quickly bring it to an end, and then get on with life. We’ll spend the rest of the month considering how to do that.
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