It is well

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, it is well with my soul!"
  It is well 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 hath 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 His 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 dark hours about me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
  Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
Ana Lara

United States

This hymn was written by a Chicago Presbyterian layman, Horatio G. Spafford, born in North Troy, New York, on October 20, 1828. As a young man he established a successful law practice in Chicago. Even though he became wealthy, he still maintained a humble heart and continued in Christian service. He had a close relationship with D. L. Moody and other evangelical leaders of the times. George Stebbins once said of him, “ A man of unusual intelligence and refinement, deeply spiritual, and a devoted student of the Scriptures. ”

A few months before the Chicago fire of 1872, Spafford had invested in real estate on Lake Michigan’s shore and had lost all his money on the venture. Before that, his only son had died. In 1872, he decided to to go with his wife and four daughters on a European family trip by way of a ship called the “S. S. Ville du Havre, ” as well as join Moody and Sankey in one of their campaigns in Great Britain. At the last minute, a business opportunity arose and he decided to stay behind and send his wife and daughters on ahead as planned. On November 22 the ship was struck by the “Lochearn, ” an English vessel, and sank in twelve minutes. Several days later the survivors landed in Cardiff, Wales, and Mrs. Spafford cabled her husband, “Saved alone. ” Spafford left by ship to meet up with his bereaved wife. It is speculated that on the sea near the area where it is thought his daughters had drowned, Spafford wrote this text with words that expressed his own grief-“When sorrows like seasons billows roll... ”. He focuses however not on his sorrows but on Christ’s redemptive work in the third stanza and His glorious second coming on the fourth stanza. Horatio could write these words “It is well with my soul” despite his enormous suffering only by experiencing the grace of God abundantly.

Towards the end of his life, Spafford went through a time of mental illness which prompted him to go to Jerusalem under the delusion that he was the second Messiah. He died there in 1888 at the age of 60.

Phillip P Bliss was so impressed with the experience and expression of Spafford’s text that shortly after he wrote the music for it, first published in one of the Sankey-Bliss hymnal, “Gospel Hymn Number Two, ” in 1876.

Bliss was a writer of gospel songs throughout his lifetime. In most cases here wrote both the text and the music for the hymns.

Mary Valko

Washington, DC, United States

Beautiful - beautiful and so so so true. Thank You God for everything. All is well with my soul


Amuwo-odofin, Nigeria

Indeed it is well. Praise God it is well with my soul

Liliana J Ortiz

Missouri City, Texas, United States

Praise you Lord. It's well with my soul


Birmingham, United Kingdom

Thank you for your peace Lord.

Ononye Esther Uju

Ajao, Lagos, Nigeria

The song I need now. So inspiring

T. Zoramnghawra Tuallawt

Lawngtlai, Mizoram, India

What an inspiration song

Medupin Vincent

Enugu, Nigeria

It is we with my soul, a very powerful hymn. Thank you Jesus for everything.

James Hailey

Hampton, VA, United States

Early this morning this song came to my thoughts and was blessed when I found and quietly sang through the lyrics (after so long). I was blessed again when I discovered the rich comments of so many from around this small world. God is good!

Iregbeyen Isibor Michael

Benin, Edo, Nigeria

There's this strength that comes from singing this hymn......