Great is Your Faithfulness
One of the most loved hymns we sing is “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” It was written by a gentlemen named Thomas Chisholm. I think the thing that most impressed me about this hymn, when you do research, is that it arose from what seemed a very common setting. Instead of coming out of some huge event or by some outstanding theologian or a writer with an inspiring testimony, it was written by an everyday, common guy who struggled, like most of us, with the daily challenges of life. This excerpt describes its context:
“It’s inspiring to hear about hymns that were written in extraordinary circumstances — thunderstorms, shipwrecks, or life-shaking events. Still, not every great hymn was written in the throes of danger or the heights of exultation. In fact, one of the greatest, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” was written by an ordinary man in an ordinary situation in the ordinary ups and downs of life. Thomas Chisholm was a pastor for one year, but for most of his life, he worked as an insurance agent. He was born in humble means in Kentucky, struggled with health problems, and worked hard to make ends meet the rest of his life. 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.”
To me, the words help us realize, once again, God’s “Faithfulness” in those mundane, routine things of life, of which only the Lord and us are aware. His words encourage us again this day…
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.
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!
Chisholm’s life, and these beautiful words that he penned, remind us that we can trust Him in our day to day living – our day to day challenges. Often, these things are only ours to bear but God knows and He cares. He is with us listening, overseeing and providing as we travel with Him day by day. God is the God of grace and He will never leave us. The way is not often easy but the weight need not be carried alone, “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)).
May His grace be “new to you”, every morning, in ways that refresh and encourage you in your day to day journey. May God be with you!
In Christian love – Pastor Ralph