The big question for us all… “Is it well with my soul?”
In the chaos of life, don’t you sometimes wonder about that? In our move to Texas and through all of the things that have happened since, there have been times that were unsettling at best and at worst, making me question whether it was well with my soul. I’m sure you’ve been there too. There’s a lot in life that attempts to rob us of joy destroy our peace and make us question our self-worth and purpose in life.
Raising kids, taking care of elderly parents, corporate climbing, being a good dad and husband, being a Jesus follower, also all bring their own sets of “growth opportunities!” It seems especially challenging when you’ve done everything you thought was right and it still doesn’t turn out the way you had anticipated. Questions like… Am I the right guy for this?… Who am I to think that I deserve or can do this?… How could God forgive someone as broken as me?… I’m not good enough to be what God has called me to be as a parent, spouse, disciple, etc.… I fail so much, should I just give up trying so hard? Does any of this resonate with you?
Did you know that sometimes… no, I would even say most of the time, those closest to you can answer the big question better than anyone else? When it is well, our reaction to life is different and they see that. Failures don’t rob us of our self-worth. Challenges don’t derail our journey. Joy isn’t dependent on circumstances. There truly is a different peace. The one spoke of in Philippians 4:7.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 (NIV)
You see, true peace, true contentment and soul wellness only comes through Jesus Christ… and it’s something that is beyond our comprehension. It’s something that isn’t shaken by circumstances, failures, or even death itself. Jesus, the Prince of Peace, told his disciples that he was going to die… devastating news, but then he said…
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27 (NIV)
Those words are for you and me. Even in the midst of the darkest times, you can have hope and His peace.
So, I bet you may be thinking, how can I fix it? As guys, we like action items! Going back to the Philippians passage helps us understand some practices that will help. Here they are…
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:6-8 (NIV)
So, did you catch it? Be in prayer, give thanks for all things, and control what you think about! So guys, here’s our challenge this week. Experiment doing more of just one of the three. Maybe pray one more time each day…or look back on the day and thank God for the things you see… or be mindful of what you read, listen to or watch and don’t let anything that is not true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable sneak in.
As you start practicing these more and more, you will understand in a much deeper way that “it is truly well with your soul.” Not because you worked at it enough or got it totally figured out. But for one reason and one reason only… it’s in Christ Jesus that you truly have that peace. As His dearly beloved child… a member of the Kingdom of God, you can be assured of that. Even when you fail, don’t feel like it, or question everything… it’s in Christ alone that your worth is beyond measure. It’s in Christ’s strength that you can be what He wants you to be. It’s in Christ’s forgiveness that you can keep going in the midst of sin and failures. It’s in Jesus that it is well with your soul! And those around you will see it!
My prayer for us all…
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. 2 Thessalonians 3:16 (NIV)
Brothers… It is well… because of Jesus!
This song has really resonated with me lately… Kristene DiMarco, It is Well. I hope it encourages you!