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.

Polokwane, Limpopo

A very powerful and blessing hymn.

Steve Miller

Detroit, Michigan, United States

A new style of sacred music known as the "gospel song" appeared during the last 1/2 of the 19th century. Ira Sankey, Moody's song leader and associate for nearly 30 years, described this new style of sacred music as songs that were "calculated to awaken the careless, to melt the hardened, and to guide inquiring souls to Jesus Christ." Many of these songs were written as a result of some sudden inspiration or after a dramatic human experience.

The words of 'It is Well' grew out of a series of bitter hardships and tragedies suffered by the author, Horatio Spafford. It is a hymn that still expresses well the personal testimony of every devout believer.

Philip P. Bliss, noted gospel song writer, musician and a member of the Moody-Sankey evangelistic team, recalls the events that inspired this song:

"Many wonderful associations with friends who supported our evangelistic work developed as time went on. One such individual who contributed generously to the campaigns, both spiritually and financially, was Horatio Spafford, a very successful attorney and businessman here in Chicago, a devout Christian and a faithful member of the Presbyterian Church. He and I became very close friends. One of the saddest memories of my life was that November 22 in 1873 when our Chicago papers carried these shocking headlines:

'The tragic shipwreck of the S.S. Ville De Havre today claimed the lives of 4 daughters of Chicago's prominent attorney, Horatio Spafford. Only his wife saved - now in Cardiff, Wales. Hundreds more lost at sea. City mourns this tragedy.'"

The Spaffords had 5 lovely children. 2 years earlier, their only son became ill and with very little warning died suddenly. Then a short time later a devastating fire broke out in Chicago, destroying much of the Lake Michigan shoreline property, including most of Mr. Spafford's extensive real estate investments.

About this same time, Mr. Moody and Ira Sankey left for Great Britain to conduct another evangelistic campaign. Desiring to assist the with this endeavor and hoping that his saddened family might be encouraged by such a trip, Horatio made arrangements for all of his family to sail to Europe. At the last minute however, some unexpected urgent business matters detained him. He sent on as scheduled his wife and 4 daughters - Tanetta, Maggie, Annie and Bessie - promising to join them as soon as possible.

Several days after their departure, Spafford completed his business affairs and eagerly prepared to rejoin his family in Europe. As he was busily packing, there was a knock at the door and he was handed a cable which read simply - "Saved alone. Your wife."

The newspapers that day provided the tragic details. The ship had been struck by another vessel. It sank in 12 minutes with all 4 of Spafford's daughters drowned, along with more than 200 other passengers. Mrs. Spafford had miraculously escaped and was now waiting for her grief-stricken husband to join her in Cardiff, Wales.

Bliss continues, "Not long after arriving in Wales, Horatio wrote me a letter. He related that he had stayed on the deck of the ship hour after hour watching the rolling waves and grieving the loss of his 4 precious daughters. When the ship passed somewhere near the area very likely where the drownings had occurred, some poetic thoughts began to shape themselves in his mind. He had an overwhelming sense of God's presence about him and felt his soul strangely comforted as he mediated on the redemptive work of Christ and the promise of His return."

Later Mr. Spafford asked Philip Bliss to look over the lines he had written to see if they might lend themselves to a song.

"I began working immediately on a singable tune for his unusual text, all the time praying earnestly that this hymn would be a source of much comfort to the Spaffords as well as to others in their times of stress and grief. Soon I was able to sing ...". - '52 Hymn Stories Dramatized' by Kenneth W. Osbeck.

Bliss named his tune 'Ville du Havre' from the name of the stricken vessel.


The 4th verse 2nd line originally says:

If Jordan above me shall roll,


There are 2 additional verses following verse 4:

5 But Lord, 'tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,

The sky, not the grave, is our goal;

Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!

Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul.


6 And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,

The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;

The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,

A song in the night, oh my soul!

Loyd Hollis

Jenks, OK, United States

Lost my estranged daughter last month. Been struggling with my “what if’s”. Poor me! On the edge of depression and not allowing Him to go inside my heart and mind. My wife reminded me of my favorite hymn. “It is well” and the way it was written makes “me” feel so small, for he lost nearly everything in his life but never lost sight of the All Mighty Heavenly Father. Today has been a grateful day. Thank You Jesus for forgiving me and constantly loving me.


Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India

It is really comforting me when my wife is fighting with cancer.


Lagos, Nigeria

I am passing through some tough time now because I am preparing for marriage and everything seems like a stand still, no house, just managing my job .....but I just came online to listen to this song....because I believe it is well with my soul.

Chief Daniel Chika

Taylor, MI, United States

This wonderful hymn, made me to discover my God's purpose in this life, and that, God, will always mix good, and bad, to get the best out of us.


Lagos, Nigeria

I lost my father in 1996. A year later, I lost my mother just when I was about entering university. It has been God all the way till now. I had a fatal accident in 2008 that almost caused me my right hand. God never disappointed me. I was shot by armed robber in a broad day light in Feb. 24th 2011. God kept me. I was driving to work this morning inspiration fm lagos reminded me this song. #it is well with my soul today. #my anthem.


TX, United States

There is a touching story behind the author of this hymn, Brother Horatio Spafford, a successful businessman and hymn writer from Chicago. He suffered the loss of his four daughters in a ship wreck, which prompted him to pen this famous hymn in 1873. (Please google for details as this website doesn't allow links :(...)

David Masika

Nairobi, Kenya

In 2008 I lost my mother and as I traveled to attend the burial, I received a call informing me that my father had also passed. Deep in my heart while on bus I sung this song, "It's well with my soul." The years that would follow will be so trying but.. "It's well with my soul."

Kidali John

Nairobi, Kenya

When I lost my wife to manegities and the second this month to cancer this song gives me hope.