One of my greatest and fondest memories of childhood is the sound of our congregation singing hymns on Sunday morning. In my family’s church, there was only the rich sound of the pipe organ accompanying the congregation, led by the pastor. No music could match the blend of four-part harmony ascending to the skies; no words could match the faith-filled words of songs like, “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” Hymn-singing was in itself a sermon challenging the heart to trust in our great God.
Thomas Chisholm was born in 1866 in Kentucky. He wrote over 1200 hymns, such as “Living For Jesus” and “O, to be Like Thee.” But the hymn we remember the most is “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” Chisholm did not write this hymn because something great and miraculous had taken place in his life. No, he wrote this because over his entire life he had learned to see the greatness of God. At the age of 75, he wrote:
“My income has not been large at any time due to impaired health in the earlier years which has followed me on until now. Although I must not fail to record here the unfailing faithfulness of a covenant-keeping God and that He has given me many wonderful displays of His providing care, for which I am filled with astonishing gratefulness.”
Surely he understood the meaning of Lamentations 3:21-23: “This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”
Think about the scripture . . . “This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope.” If we could only discipline ourselves to bring this scripture to our minds, “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” Remember it every time we are faced with doubt and unbelief. Keep it committed to memory for the times we come up against seemingly insurmountable situations. Remember, no matter what…Great is His faithfulness!
“Morning by morning, new mercies I see!” Those are Chisholm’s words, but they must be our words as well. Oh yes! Our covenant-keeping God is faithful and His compassions fail not.
Read the verse one more time . . . “This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” Now read the words penned by Chisholm who framed this scripture so powerfully in “Great Is Thy Faithfulness!”
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 wilt be.
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,
Thy own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessing all mine, with ten thousand beside!
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!
Can you join in the chorus? Can you add your sacrifice of praise to God for His faithfulness? Can you look beyond your disabilities, your disappointments, and your disillusionments to proclaim that no matter what, “Great is Thy Faithfulness”?
Spend some time right now – find a place where you are alone for a few moments and pour out your praise as a drink offering before the Lord. He’s so worthy…His faithfulness so great!
Father, I can’t get past these words . . . great is Your faithfulness! I’ve never known anyone so faithful, anyone so tender, anyone so forgiving as You. Oh Lord, I’m overwhelmed with praise as it stirs within my heart. Father, when all my friends fail me, You are faithful! When those closest to me let me down, You are faithful! When my family has turned cold toward me, You are faithful! When it looks as if everything is crumbling at my feet, You are there. And, not only are you there, You are FAITHFUL. Great . . . GREAT is Your faithfulness, morning after morning Your mercies are new. I’m overwhelmed by Your love, Your provision, and Your merciful faithfulness. In Jesus’ name, by His blood, and for His glory . . . Amen and Amen.
“Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.” (Psalm 36:5)
© Jan Ross
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