Hymn Parade – Great is Thy Faithfulness

Great is Thy Faithfulness by Thomas Chisholm (1923)

How many situations in life have challenged your faith in God?

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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTKIqmdfHSk

Lamentations 3:22:23: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

great-thy-faithfulness-christian-worship-hymn-thomas-chisholm-classic-extolling-god-s-faithful-dealings-his-people-61146998

Thomas Chisholm was born in Franklin, Kentucky in 1866. He was educated in a small country schoolhouse and at age 16 began teaching at the same school. He became a Christian at age 27, and with no college or seminary training was ordained a Methodist minister at age 36. Within a year of his ordination he became ill, left the ministry and moved to Vineland, NJ. Although he had many health issues and a limited income, his faith in God’s promises was strong throughout his life. He also lived until age 94 and died in Ocean Grove, NJ in 1960.

His friend, William Runyan wrote the tune for this popular hymn. The hymn became popular with the Billy Graham crusade and is one of the most popular hymns in England.

Martin Luther wrote the following about faith in his introduction to Romans in his translation of the New Testament in 1522: “Faith is not what some people think it is. Their human dream is a delusion. Because they observe that faith is not followed by good works or a better life, they fall into error, even though they speak and hear much about faith. “Faith is not enough,” they say, “You must do good works, you must be pious to be saved.” They think that, when you hear the gospel, you start working, creating by your own strength a thankful heart which says, “I believe.” That is what they think true faith is. But, because this is a human idea, a dream, the heart never learns anything from it, so it does nothing and reform doesn’t come from this `faith,’ either.

Instead, faith is God’s work in us, that changes us and gives new birth from God. (John 1:13). It kills the Old Adam and makes us completely different people. It changes our hearts, our spirits, our thoughts and all our powers. It brings the Holy Spirit with it. Yes, it is a living, creative, active and powerful thing, this faith. Faith cannot help doing good works constantly. It doesn’t stop to ask if good works ought to be done, but before anyone asks, it already has done them and continues to do them without ceasing. Anyone who does not do good works in this manner is an unbeliever. He stumbles around and looks for faith and good works, even though he does not know what faith or good works are. Yet he gossips and chatters about faith and good works with many words.

Faith is a living, bold trust in God’s grace, so certain of God’s favor that it would risk death a thousand times trusting in it. Such confidence and knowledge of God’s grace makes you happy, joyful and bold in your relationship to God and all creatures. The Holy Spirit makes this happen through faith. Because of it, you freely, willingly and joyfully do good to everyone, serve everyone, suffer all kinds of things, love and praise the God who has shown you such grace. Thus, it is just as impossible to separate faith and works as it is to separate heat and light from fire! Therefore, watch out for your own false ideas and guard against good-for-nothing gossips, who think they’re smart enough to define faith and works, but really are the greatest of fools. Ask God to work faith in you, or you will remain forever without faith, no matter what you wish, say or can do.”

Comments: hbitten@reverendluther.org

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s