“I waited patiently; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of the
horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord” ~ Psalm 40:1-3.
Many churches sing the well-known hymn: “It Is Well with My Soul,” but not all know the story of the song's author: Horatio G. Spafford. Spafford was a wealthy American businessman and a devoted Christian. He was friends with several famous preachers including Dwight L. Moody. His family decided to go to England to join Moody on a preaching tour. Spafford allowed his family to go ahead by boat because he was held back with business. On the journey, the ship on which his family was sailing was struck by another ship. All of Spafford's 4 daughters were killed, only his wife survived. Heartbroken, Spafford immediately set sail to England to meet his distraught wife. On his journey, in all his terrible loss, he penned this uplifting song. In spite of great suffering, God gave Spafford peace.
Suffering in this life will come. This is certain, and there examples of this presented all throughout Scripture. Yet, there is also another unchanging promise for a believer in Jesus Christ: God will always be present. God promises throughout His word that when the fiery trials come and the
deepest valleys surround us, He will never leave us nor forsake us. This concept cannot be fathomed by us sinful humans. Our Lord does not only promise to love us, but to also surround us and to bring us through suffering and set us on His rock even when the burning arrows of the devil plague us constantly.
Consider the story of Stephen, the first martyr of the Christian church. The book of Acts gives his full account, and it says that Stephen was arrested and judged by the Jewish council. Here, Stephen gave a powerful teaching and this greatly angered the council, and they condemned him to be stoned. Stephen died, but there was one thing that separated him from all others who have been sentenced similarly, others who scream and wail or die with great fear in their hearts, Stephen had the peace that passes all understanding. In fact, it says that Stephen saw the glory of God right before he died.
You see, the meaning of Psalm 40: 1-3 does not claim that Christians will not suffer, nor does it
say that God will spare His children from a painful death, although sometimes He might. This portion of Scripture confirms that God hears our cry and sets our feet upon a rock, a rock of peace.
Trials and tribulations might shake the very ground we stand on, but we do not fear, because of the hope that only we have and the hope that this life is not the end. Even if we perish, we perish into the glory of God.
There might be troubles in your life that seem to last for eternity. Just remember that the
Lord will never forsake you, but He will hold you up. You may not think He is present, but He is always present with those who are in Him. Cast your cares on him and enjoy the peace that passes all understanding.
Yeshuwa Varghese (15) is on staff with CLM/TPS Chapel and a student at The Potter's School.