Great is Thy Faithfulness – Asbury University
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Great is Thy Faithfulness

December 11, 2023

Joe Brockinton ’74

Lamentations 3:22-23  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.

One of the outcomes of my Asbury education was a love for hymns.  For many of us, the hymn sing at the summer reunion is a highlight.  In fact, singing with Asburians in Hughes Auditorium is like no other experience.  It’s more than the voices.  It’s the substance of the hymns.  It’s the theology they present. It’s the Spirit reminding us of all the Father has done in our lives.

One of my favorite hymns is Great is Thy Faithfulness, which was written in 1923 by Thomas Obadiah Chisholm.  He was a native of Franklin, KY with a connection to Asbury.  In 1893, at the age of 27, he was converted in a revival under the preaching of Dr. Henry Clay Morrison.

He didn’t actually write all of the hymn.  He had help from Jeremiah.  In Lamentations 3, Jeremiah is cataloging the current state of Israel:  Afflictions, desolation, isolation, humiliation and despair.  Just when he is about to give up all hope, he remembers, “The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; Great is Thy faithfulness.  The LORD is my portion, says my soul, therefore I have hope in Him.  The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him” (vv. 22-25).

When we sing this hymn, we are declaring that whatever we face, we can have hope because of His faithfulness.  New every morning.  New for every situation.

Thomas Chisholm would urge us again to remember: 

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.

If you’ve lost hope, recall God’s faithfulness and give thanks to Him for His great faithfulness in your life.