IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL, SERMON BB. JUNE 6, 2017

IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL
Acapella One Verse:
When peace like a river, attendith my wake,
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.
Opening prayer:
Thank you Lord! Praise you Lord!
Father please let the words that are about to come out of my mouth be only from you. Direct Your words to the hungry, the hurt, and those in need of Your comfort. Amen.
Main Sermon:
Shalom aleikhem! That is Hebrew for Peace unto you.
Did you ever feel like you were a survivor of a plane crash, and you ended up on a desert island, wondering what happened to your life, your dreams, your peace?  This was not how you planned your life. How can you cope and make sense of what happened to you? We live in a time where stress, emotional turmoil, unhappiness, and especially depression is pressing in all around us. Most people seem to be at a loss as to how to cope. How to find comfort. How to seek peace and wholeness. You cannot find peace and wholeness through man’s way alone: antidperessants, ADHD meds, or pain meds. You  most definently will not find contentment and fulfilment by using crystals, fortune tellers, gambling, alcohol, illegal drugs, immoral relationships, overeating, over exercising, filling your time up with silly stuff, internet, or TV. Only through God will you find what you truly need.
Psalm 103:13 “the Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.”
Psalm 147:3 “He heals the brokenhearted, binding their wounds.”
Psalm 18:2 “the Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the strength of my salvation, and my stronghold.”
Philippians 4 states “be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God. Then the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Even if it seems God is not answering your prayers, be patient, be at peace. God answers all your prayers, even if the answer is “NO!” God cannot give you what you pray for if it does not produce peace and wholeness in God.
Isaiah 43:2 God further promises us “when you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you . For I am the Lord, your god, the Holy One of Israel, you Savior.”
In 2 Kings 4 God granted a son to a barren Shunammite woman. Years later this son fell, hit his head and died in his mother’s arms. Quickly she had her servant saddle up their horse and quickly rode to the hill of Mount Carmel to find the man of God to heal her son. On the way when asked “IS it well with thee? Is it well with thy husband? Is it well with the child? She answered “It is well.” This mother could have grieved, but instead chose to speak words of life, words of a promise from God to each of us, if we lean onto and into Him: “It is well.” Through God and on her faith the prophet Elisha was able to raise the child to life.
No matter what happens God gives us the grace to do it. God – our eternal security, He knows the end from the beginning, so we should not be anxious for anything. God gives us peace. A wholeness, not just a lack of conflict. Jesus promised “My peace I give unto you.” This is Jesus saying I do not give you worldly peace – which is just the removal of bad circumstances, Jesus gives us HIS peace, which is eternal in the face of all circumstances.
The writer of “It Is Well With My Soul” Horatio Spafford and his wife Anna found peace and wholeness despite horrible tragedy. Spafford was a successful businessman in the middle 1800s, his wife, 4 daughters, and one son had everything they wanted. Their only son died of pneumonia in 1871 and the next year the great Chicago fire destroyed most of his fortune and used what was left to help trying to rebuild Chicago and help the thousands of homeless people who had nothing.  In 1873 Horatio sent his family on a vacation to escape the stress. The luxury liner the Ville Du Havre sank taking all his daughters, his wife Anna was found floating on debris and survived. She cabled home to her husband “saved alone, what shall I do?” Horatio took the next the cold black swells of the water. That night he wrote the words to “It is well with my soul.” Horatio and Anna Spafford moved to Jerusalem, had 3 more children and dedicated their lives to saving the needy, homeless, helpless and orphans in the place where Jesus had lived.
Psalm 71:20 promises us God may have “allowed me to suffer much hardship, but He will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth.” This verse not only applies to us, but to Jesus Himself when He walked the earth. In John 13:21 Jesus was anxious, said before going to the cross: “I am troubled in spirit.” over being betrayed. Again in John 12:27 Jesus states “My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father save me for this hour? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.'” One last time Jesus showed worry when he said, in Matthew 26:39 “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.” God gives us all the grace to go through every circumstance in our own life at the time you go through it. Jesus was able to submit Himself fully to God, and what a blessing to us all that He did.
In Psalm 46:1-2 we are promised that “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear, even if earthquakes come and the mountains crumble to the sea.” Seek after God and He will bring you the peace and wholeness you seek.
I started this sermon by pronouncing over you: Shalom Aleikhem! The word shalom means “peace” as well as tranquility, contentment, comfort, integrity, and wholeness. Aleikhem means “unto you,” so the expression means “Peace unto you.” Not just peace, but a deeper meaning of a strong connection with wholeness. Not just a quiet spirit or happiness or things going well in your life, but a sense of wholeness that everything is in order in your life, as God intended it to be.  The fruit of the Holy Spirit is peace.   “Peace with God, an inner peace, a spirit that is not restless or troubled, being at peace with our situations, with our circumstances. That does not necessarily mean that our circumstances have changed to give us peace. It means we have become at peace with our circumstances.”
Isaiah 26 “Thou will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee.” As we keep our hearts and minds fixed on Jesus, He will give us that peace within ourselves. Shalom Aleikhem!
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