Great is Thy Faithfulness

“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!

A few weeks ago, I was out on one of my morning runs and a I heard a song. It was a familiar hymn. This time when I heard the arrangement recorded by the group “Selah”, the beauty of the words sank deep into my heart. I meditated on them as I thought about the recent news that the pandemic was spreading. Everything was starting to shut down. Life as we knew it seemed to be coming to a screeching halt. As I listened to the words of each verse and chorus, I realized that this song written in 1923 by Thomas O. Chisholm, (music by William Runyan), is just as relevant and true today as ever. In fact, the words seemed to fit perfectly as a reminder of peace, over the concerns of that day.

As I ran along, I watched the sky change from dark to light, and I marveled at the beauty of the dawn. It reminded me that no matter what I am worried about, the sun stills rises in the east every morning. Each new day I get to see and spend with my family is a gift of God’s goodness. I heard the birds singing, announcing the start of a new day, unaware of any reason to worry. Since then, this theme has been on my mind and in my heart, “Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father.”

As the days and weeks pass, I keep thinking about the old hymn, and considering what the words mean in my life for today. The song’s chorus comes from the third chapter of Lamentations, a short book tucked near the back of the Old Testament. I had never paid much attention to it before, so I decided to read all five chapters. If you are looking for light hearted reading, this is not the book for that! It is mostly doom and gloom, and judgement (maybe the title gives it away). But tucked in the middle of chapter 3, there is a beautiful section of verses full of HOPE, because of God’s unfailing mercy and goodness.

“This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!” The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly For the salvation of the LORD.”
‭‭Lamentations‬ ‭3:21-26‬ ‭

“You drew near on the day I called on You, And said, “Do not fear!” O Lord, You have pleaded the case for my soul; You have redeemed my life.”
‭‭Lamentations‬ ‭3:57-58‬ ‭

The verses above have brought me great encouragement, along with the lyrics to the hymn they inspired. Below is the whole song for you to read. I hope the words will speak to your heart and be a blessing to you as they have been to me, today and in the days ahead.

Verse1: “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.

Chorus: “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!

Verse 2: 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.

Verse3: 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.

The first thing that spoke to me through this song is the truth in verse 1 that God is always our faithful Father. He never changes, and He never fails!

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭13:8‬ ‭

God is merciful every day. He is our provider. He may not always give us what we think we want. But He gives us everything that we truly need.

In verse 2, the lyrics refer to how all of creation gives witness to God’s goodness. The sun, moon, and stars show His power. The changing seasons testify to His glory. I LOVE seeing nature and animals while spending time outside. They go about their lives. They are completely unaware of the Coronavirus, the economy, being quarantined, or any of the struggles people worry over. The flowers keep growing in beautiful colors. Spiders spin webs, and caterpillars hide in their cocoons waiting to transform into butterflies. The birds fly, the ducks swim, and the squirrels play chase with one another. They gather the food God provides and care for their young. They remind me what a blessing it is to simply trust and not worry.

Even this season of being quarantined has made me stop and think about God’s perfect timing. Instead of being cold winter, or hot summer (where it is about a million degrees where we live), He allowed it to happen in the spring. The weather has been beautiful, allowing us to spend hours outside every day enjoying the glory of creation, and seeing the way the earth overflows with new life during spring.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭19:1‬ ‭

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:26-29‬ ‭

But the best words by far, that convey the most glorious hope are those in verse 3. We have the hope of God’s pardon from our sin, resulting in lasting peace. God’s presence in our lives is our JOY, our STRENGTH for today, and our BRIGHT HOPE for tomorrow.

No matter what happens because of this new virus, no matter when I am allowed to see friends again or enjoy a public gathering, I have a bright hope. My sins have been forgiven because Jesus Christ died on the cross and was resurrected from the dead. His death has conquered ALL death! I can have perfect peace knowing He has pardoned me and given me the hope of eternal life with Him.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭6:23‬ ‭

“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
‭‭John‬ ‭17:3‬ ‭

We are not all going to die from COVID-19. But maybe this event in time is so scary because reminds us that we are all in fact going to die someday. Not one will escape it. Those who know Christ do not need to fear death, because going from this life to the next means spending eternity in God’s glorious presence. True life is found in knowing Him. While we wait in joyful hope for that day, Jesus has promised to be with us always.

“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭28:18-20‬ ‭

So I am reminded now more than ever in a world of uncertainty, this I can be sure of, He is faithful!

Whether I am well or face sickness, Great is Thy Faithfulness.

If I feel strong, or if my soul is weary, Great is Thy Faithfulness.

If I have plenty, or if I am in need, Great is Thy Faithfulness.

If I feel scared or alone, Great is Thy Faithfulness.

When I am worried about what the future holds, Great is Thy Faithfulness.

In every circumstance, Your love covers me with safety and eternal security. You will never leave me nor forsake me.

“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:31-32‬ ‭

You have turned death into life, by Your resurrection power. There is no need for Your children to fear, instead we are able to live in perfect peace. Therefore, I will ever sing…

Great is Thy Faithfulness, O God My Father!

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