This week I have been reminded on more than one occasion of God’s faithfulness to us. First of all during the worship at church on Sunday as this was one of the hymns we sang. Then last night as I was reading from our ‘Daily Light for Every Day’, one of the scriptures was from Lamentations 3:2-23:
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
The hymn Great is Thy Faithfulness was written based on this scripture by an ordinary Christian not because something great and miraculous had taken place in his life but because over his entire life he had learned to see the greatness of God.
Thomas Obadiah Chisolm (1866-1960) had a difficult early adult life. His health was so fragile that there were periods of time when he was confined to bed, unable to work. Between bouts of illness he would have to push himself to put in extra hours at various jobs in order to make ends meet.
After coming to Christ at age 27, Thomas found great comfort in the Scriptures, and in the fact that God was faithful to be his strength in time of illness and weakness, and to provide his needs. Lamentations 3:22-23 was one of his favorite scriptures and formed the lyrics to the hymn. While away from home on a missions trip, Thomas often wrote to one of his good friends, William Runyan, a relatively unknown musician. Several poems were exchanged in these letters. Runyan found one of Williams’ poems so moving that he decided to compose a musical score to accompany the lyrics. Great is Thy Faithfulness was published in 1923.
For several years, the hymn got very little recognition, until it was discovered by a Moody Bible Institute professor who loved it so much and requested it sung so often at chapel services, that the song became the unofficial theme song of the college.
Be encouraged this week by the words of this ‘great’ hymn that whatever challenges, trials or disappointments we might be facing right now, that God’s promises are true, that he never changes, that his compassions never fail, and his faithfulness to us is great!
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!
Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!