Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs to Help You Worship at Home
This weekend in our online service we’re returning to the book of Ecclesiastes. What we’re going to see is that God is sovereign over all things and that He is the only One we can trust with our deaths. Below are some hymns that you might find helpful to listen to over the course of another weekend in semi-lockdown.
All Glory Be to Christ
Seek Ye First
How Deep the Father’s Love For Us
There is a Hope
Abide With Me (new)
Nearer My God To Thee
Hymn of the Weekend
Sovereign Over Us
This is a firm favourite within our church family. It’s a hymn which speaks beautifully about God’s sovereign control over all things and is based on what the Apostle Paul writes in Romans 8.
One Hymn Explained
It Is Well
The story of this hymn is reasonably well-known. Horatio Spafford was a successful lawyer and businessman in Chicago with a lovely family – a wife, Anna, and five children. However, they were not strangers to tears and tragedy. Their young son died with pneumonia in 1871, and in that same year, much of their business was lost in the great Chicago fire. Yet, God in His mercy and kindness allowed the business to flourish once more.
In November 1873, Mrs. Spafford and her four children boarded a ship which was to cross the Atlantic Ocean. They were going to England and Mr. Spafford had planned to join them shortly afterwards. He had some business to sort in Chicago.
The ship Mrs Spafford was on had 313 passengers on board. the French ocean liner, Ville du Havre was crossing the Atlantic from the U.S. to Europe with 313 passengers on board. About four days in the journey across the Atlantic, the ship collided with a powerful Scottish ship called the Loch Earn. Within about 12 minutes of the collision happening, the boat Mrs. Spafford was on slipped beneath the dark waters of the Atlantic. 226 of the 313 passengers died, included the Spafford’s four children.
There was a sailor rowing a small boat over the spot where the ship went down and he spotted a woman, Anna Spafford, floating on a piece of wreckage. She was still alive and he pulled her into the boat and they were eventually picked up by a larger ship. Nine days later they landed in Cardiff, Wales. And from Cardiff, Anna Spafford sent her husband a message which began: “Saved alone, what shall I do?”
When Horatio Spafford received the message from his wife, he booked a spot on the next available ship. During his trip across the Atlantic, the captain of the ship he was on summoned him to the bridge of the vessel. The captain explained to Spafford that they were passing over the very spot where the boat carrying his wife and children had sunk – the very spot where his daughters had died.
Following that conversation with the captain, Spafford went to his cabin and wrote the following words:
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 has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
Horatio Spafford had a firm grip and understanding of providence. After going through all that he had been through, Spafford was able to say through this hymn: “God is sovereign and I trust Him.” Sadly, Spafford didn’t end the Christian life as well as he began it but this hymn still reminds us of profound truths about God’s sovereignty.
Over the weekend, take some time to meditate on the truths of this hymn. A fruitful exercise would be to take a note of the themes of the hymn and then to find Scriptural references to match them.