“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
The second verse of “It Is Well with My Soul” puts persecution and troubles in perspective.
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.
Paul was given “a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet” him (2 Corinthians 12:7). Almost every saint of every age could echo Paul’s concerns, for trials come to each child of God. “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you” (1 Peter 4:12). God had a purpose in Paul’s life, and He has one in ours, although Paul couldn’t clearly see the purpose, and, at times, we can’t either. We can, however, “glory,” as Paul did; or “rejoice,” as Peter advises, in response to the knowledge of God’s loving oversight.
The persecution may never stop, and may, in fact, result in serious loss—even death. But through it all, we can have the controlling assurance that He has made our destiny certain, “for when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6). “We see Jesus . . . for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. . . . [thereby] bringing many sons unto glory” (Hebrews 2:9-10). As our text reminds us, “in the world ye shall have tribulation.” God may neither stop nor explain it, but He has “overcome” it, by shedding His own blood for our souls. “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). Truly, “it is well with my soul.” JDM
Click here for the sheet music for this hymn.