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Great Is Thy Faithfulness

“Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.”1


Thomas Obediah Chisholm was born in a log cabin in Kentucky in 1866. He came to Christ at age 27, and in 1903, he was officially ordained a minister. But his health was unstable, and he alternated between bouts of illness and employment; he had worked in everything from journalism to evangelistic work. But even through all the ups and downs, he discovered new blessings from God every morning. The third chapter of the book of Lamentations became very precious to him. Thomas had written hundreds of poems throughout this life and one such poem was based on this passage from Lamentations 3:21-23, “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”


Many hymns were written in light of traumatic events occurring in the life of the authors, however, Thomas admitted that there had been no dramatic story behind the writing of “Great is thy Faithfulness”. He simply wanted to declare the Lord's glory and put it down on paper. One day he decided to send his poem to a fellow Minister and friend, William Runyan, who configured a musical setting for the poem. The hymn was published in 1923 in Runyan’s private collection and once in a while it played on the radio, until one day, when it was discovered by Dr. Will Houghton of the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago. The song became a fast favorite and soon grew in popularity. Around the same time a young student from Wheaton College named Billy Graham had also heard it on the radio. This beloved hymn became one of his favorite songs and he frequently had it sung at his crusades, allowing it to become internationally known. What began as a simple adoration to the Lord, became an inspiration for many to lift the name of the Lord and proclaim His Great Faithfulness!


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!”2


Suggested Prayer: Thank you, Dear God, for your great mercy. Your love for me is wonderful and I just want to praise you! In Jesus’ name, Amen.


  1. Psalm 36:5 (ESV).

  2. “Great is Thy Faithfulness” by Thomas O. Chisholm.


Today's Encounter was written by: Veronica B.  

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Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.