Sermon Illustrations

In 1871, tragedy struck Chicago as fire ravaged the city. When it was all over, 300 people were dead and 100,000 were homeless. Horatio Gates Spafford was one of those who tried to help the people of the city get back on their feet. A lawyer who had invested much of his money into the downtown Chicago real estate, he’d lost a great deal to the fire. And his one son (he had four daughters) had died about the same time. Still, for two years Horatio--who was a friend of evangelist Dwight Moody--assisted those devastated by the fire.

After about two years of such work, Horatio and his family decided to take a vacation. They were to go to England to join Moody and Ira Sankey on an evangelistic crusade, and then travel in Europe. Horatio was delayed by some business, but sent his wife and four daughters on ahead, planning to catch up to them in England.

The ladies set sail without Horatio but their ship never made it to England. Off Newfoundland, it collided with an English sailing ship and sank within 20 minutes. Horatio’s wife, Ana, was one of only 47 survivors among hundreds but their four daughters were lost. The telegram sent to Horatio from his wife was only two words long: “saved alone.”

Horatio boarded the next available ship to join his grieving wife, and the two finally met up with Dwight Moody. “It is well,” Spafford told him quietly. “The will of God be done.”

Though reports vary as to when he did so, it was during this time that Horatio penned the words that would become the hymn - “It Is Well with My Soul.”

Related Sermon Illustrations

Related Sermons

Browse All Media

Related Media


Send Me
SermonCentral
PowerPoint Template
Overcoming Anger
SermonCentral
PowerPoint Template
Anxiety
SermonCentral
PowerPoint Template