Great is Your Faithfulness
Monday - September 21st
Scripture to Read Today: Psalm 89:1-8
Faithful: God unwaveringly honors his covenants and fulfills his promises
Day 21 of 30 Days of the Names and Attributes of God
Who is like you, Lord God Almighty? You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you.
Like many of the Psalms, songs, and hymns of worship throughout Church history have been written out of seasons of life trials. They are the heart cry or focused praise of the lyricist or the musician. As we discussed this weekend in our worship services at Calvary, David wrote Psalms 142, 57, and 34 during his lonely isolation in the cave of Adullam. You can hear his heart's cry in each Psalm. Horatio Spafford wrote, "It Is Well With My Soul" after most of his family died in a shipwreck. God's family has been blessed by music that emerges from terrible life experience.
Some of the Psalms were written purely in response to the character and attributes of God. The same is true for worship music throughout Church history. They did not emerge from the heartache of life, but from the heart's desire to lift up our great and glorious God. One Hymn written in the early part of the 20th century stands out as such an example of worship music. Thomas Chisholm wrote the poem "Great is Thy Faithfulness" in 1923. He wrote it simply as praise to God for His incredible faithfulness.
Lifeway.com posted the story behind "Great is Thy Faithfulness" on January 1, 2014. In summarizing the life of Thomas Chisholm, the article said this about Chisholm:
Thomas Chisholm was born in a simple log cabin in Franklin, Kentucky, in 1866. Lacking a high school education or any college training, he became a school teacher at the age of 16 and later entered the newspaper business.
The following years found him ordained a pastor, but poor health forced him to leave the ministry. After a time of recuperation, he moved to New Jersey to work as an insurance agent.
A prolific writer of poetry, he sent a collection of his poems in 1923 to his good friend William Runyan, a musician associated with Chicago's Moody Bible Institute, who also worked for a hymnal publishing company. -See Footer for Citation
Chisholm's friend William Runyan put the poem to the beautiful music we are familiar with today. It became a favorite of students at Moody Bible Institute. It then spread throughout the church as it became a staple of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Crusades of the mid-20th century. It has served the church as a song that lifts hearts and lives to worship God for Who He is. Based on Lamentations 3:22 from the King James Version of the Bible, the hymn reminds us that no matter what, our God is faithful. His faithfulness is new every morning.
The attribute of God being faithful speaks of how He unwaveringly honors his covenants with and fulfills his promises to His children. He never deceives. He never does less than what He promises. He never wiggles out of a covenant. He is trustworthy because He is faithful!
No matter what you face today or tomorrow, you can trust God because He is faithful!
"Great Is Thy Faithfulness" Lyrics:
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,
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!
Wyse, E. (2014, January 1). The history of "Great is thy faithfulness". Lifeway. https://www.lifeway.com/en/articles/the-history-of-great-is-thy-faithfulness