Behind the Music

Thomas Chisholm was born in 1866. He grew up in Kentucky and lived a life that was generally unexceptional.  Yet his story can be an encouragement to many believers today. Even though he had no enormous life-altering stories to share, he gave us a hymn that has resonated with generations beyond his lifetime. Chisholm was converted at the age of 27 and spent most of his life as an insurance agent. Yet over the years, Chisholm wrote well over 1000 poems. Great is Thy Faithfulness is one of these poems.

Great is thy Faithfulness was set to music by William Runyan of Hope Publishing Company in 1923 and was made popular by two different evangelist figures in the 20th Century: William Houghton, a president of Moody Bible Institute and Billy Graham.  Billy Graham increased the popularity of the hymn greatly during his international crusades. 

The Hymn is based on a passage from Lamentations and speaks to the unfailing faithfulness of God. Thomas Chisholm saw the faithfulness of God in his life and wanted to convey that faithfulness in the hymn that is now recognized by millions of Christians around the world. 

Lamentations 3:22 - 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 is Thy 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.

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!

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 great presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside.

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