Hymn-Theology – Whatever My Lot


“Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.”

It Is Well with My Soul by Horatio Spafford and Philip Bliss.

Ah, the emotional power and connection of Hymns. The story of hardship, heartache, and loss is sure to break your heart. Was he the only one to suffer? No. But he didn’t blame God.

Joseph, Job, even Jesus all suffered without cause.

How many people have you known who, after adversity, say,

“I tried prayer; it didn’t work.”

I believe part of the universal love and appeal of this hymn is that we all do suffer. Christianity isn’t a “get out of jail free” card. It doesn’t exempt us from the sufferings of the world. In fact, Jesus tells us that there will be tribulation in this world, but in Him we have peace.

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27

Even the Apostle Paul suffered greatly, though he was a faithful minister and teacher. Regardless of his circumstances, he learned to be content.

“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” Philippians 4:11-12

Being able to say “it is well with my soul” in spite of pain, heartache, and loss is the evidence of contentment.

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked shall I return there.
The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21


Sing it with me,

“Whatever my lot, You have taught me to say, ‘It is well! It is well with my soul!”

For Thought & Discussion:

  • What are your thoughts about this stanza?
  • Can you think of any other hymns or songs with similar themes?
  • See also:
  • Are there any other verses that back up this hymn theologically?
  • Have you used this song lately?  Have you explained it?

All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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