Today we see persecutions in the world from various sides. Innocent and helpless people are being persecuted by different forces to extend of them losing their lives or/and properties.

But most people will always try to encourage those persecuted by saying "It is Well", which I think is derived from 2 Kings 4:26 KJV. Sometimes, it is sounding like mockery or people just say it to get those facing the persecutions out of the way.

So my question is, Should we keep saying it is well even when people are really suffering?

  • most people will always try to encourage those persecuted by saying "It is Well" [...] Should we keep saying it is well even when people are really suffering ? - What people are you talking about, what makes you think they're so numerous, and who's we, exactly ? :-/
    – Lucian
    Aug 18 at 19:48
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    – Tony Chan
    Aug 19 at 17:48

Let's see the context, 2 Kings 4:

18 And when the child was grown, it fell on a day, that he went out to his father to the reapers. 19And he said unto his father, My head, my head. And he said to a lad, Carry him to his mother. 20And when he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died. 21And she went up, and laid him on the bed of the man of God, and shut the door upon him, and went out. 22And she called unto her husband, and said, Send me, I pray thee, one of the young men, and one of the asses, that I may run to the man of God, and come again. 23And he said, Wherefore wilt thou go to him to day? it is neither new moon, nor sabbath. And she said, It shall be well.

It was the mother who was suffering. She used the word "well" to her husband because of her faith.

24Then she saddled an ass, and said to her servant, Drive, and go forward; slack not thy riding for me, except I bid thee. 25So she went and came unto the man of God to mount Carmel. And it came to pass, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to Gehazi his servant, Behold, yonder is that Shunammite: 26Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well.

The 2nd time that she used the word "well", she was replying to Gehazi.

27 And when she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught him by the feet: but Gehazi came near to thrust her away. And the man of God said, Let her alone; for her soul is vexed within her: and the LORD hath hid it from me, and hath not told me. 28Then she said, Did I desire a son of my lord? did I not say, Do not deceive me?

Finally, she confronted Elisha and told him what happened without using the word "well".

The mother was the one who was suffering. She didn't lie to herself, her husband, or Gehazi when she said that it was well. Eventually, Elisha raised her son from death and all was well.

Should we keep saying it is well even when people are really suffering?

Based on this story, there were two conditions:

  1. It was the sufferer who used the word "well".

  2. The sufferer had faith and didn't lie to anyone.

If these two conditions are satisfied, then I think it is okay to say it.

  • Your Point #1 nails it: "It was the sufferer who used the word 'well'" Also, it's not clear to me that the woman's statement "It is well" is actually a lie. She probably did want to believe that all was well because her son might have a chance through Elisha. A positive mental attitude on such an occasion would surely be a good thing. +1.
    – Xeno
    Aug 18 at 23:09
  • "The mother was the one who was suffering. She didn't lie to herself, her husband, or Gehazi"
    – Tony Chan
    Aug 19 at 14:53
  • Yes, I agree. My apologies if my comment came across otherwise. I should have stated that right up front or been more careful with my wording. :-)
    – Xeno
    Aug 19 at 18:24
  • No problem. God bless!
    – Tony Chan
    Aug 19 at 19:06
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    Learn from my mistakes. The more I learn, the higher my scores in this forum. You can do the same :) Keep learning!
    – Tony Chan
    Aug 20 at 13:15

First of all the phrase translated "she said, 'it is well'" in both cases is וַתֹּ֖אמֶר שָׁלֹֽום meaning "she said, "Shalom,'" which is a greeting in Hebrew.

Secondly, while it is OK for one to see one's own hardships as OK. That is not how we should see or tell other people about their hardships. For example.

14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace [Shalom], be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:14–17, ESV)

 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. (1 John 3:16–18, ESV)

We should see suffering as the opportunity to show God's love.

As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6 Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud 7 and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing. (John 9:1–7, ESV)


Is it okay to still say “It is well” [during] persecution (2 Kings 4:26, cf. 2 Kings 4:23, NAS)?

2 Kings 4:26: "Please run now to meet her and say to her, ‘Is it well with you? Is it well with your husband? Is it well with the child?’ And she answered, 'It is well'" (emphasis added).

This appears to have been the same ambiguous answer from the woman to Gehazi, Elisha's servant, as she previously related to her husband (2 Kings 4:23). Apparently, the woman was unwilling to admit the death of her son to anyone except the prophet.

This may likely have been because she believed that, to disclose her son's death to anyone, might compromise Elisha's ability to revive him. In that, she appears to have unwavering faith. She, therefore, probably believed that "It [was] well" because her words reflected her certainty that Elisha would accomplish whatever was necessary to raise her son — even from death.

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