The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. - Lamentations 3:22-23(NASB)
I recall hearing a program personality at a worship conference years ago as he was speaking to a group of us younger guys in ministry state the following: “When you enter into your secret place for your time of private worship be sure to take along with you a copy of God’s Word and a copy of the Baptist Hymnal.” I don’t recall who he was, but I have remembered what he said. It has also become a practice that I have attempted to hold to through the years. Although I must confess, I have used more than just the Baptist Hymnal along the journey.
One of my favorite hymns to reflect upon in private worship is one written by Thomas Chisholm, based on Lamentations 3:22-23, entitled Great Is Thy Faithfulness.
In 1923, Chisholm sent several of his poems to a friend William Runyan who was working for Hope Publishing Company at the time. So moved by the text of this hymn, he set out to compose a tune that would adequately reflect the wonder and thankfulness for God’s faithfulness conveyed therein. The tune named FAITHFULNESS and the lyrics are such that one can hardly think of one without the other.
After being published in 1923, the song quickly became a favorite at Moody Bible Institute, and later George Beverly Shea sang it at Billy Graham crusades. Now it’s known all over the world and has been used to encourage millions of Christians to trust in a faithful God.
When Chisholm was 75, he wrote in a letter: “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.”
Let us be encouraged today by this great reminder of the faithfulness of our God.
GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS
Great is Thy faithfulness,
O God, my Father,
There is no shadow of turning wioth Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou for ever wilt be.
Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars on 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!
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!
© 1923. Renewal 1951 Hope Publishing Company