Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Great Is Thy Faithfulness by Thom­as O. Chis­holm

George Beverly Shea says that this hymn was first introduced in Great Britain in 1954 during the Billy Graham Crusades.

William Runyan whore wrote the tune for the hymn writes this:

This particular poem held such an appeal that I prayed most earnestly that my tune might carry over its message in a worthy way, and the subsequent history of its use indicates that God answered prayer. It was written in Baldwin, Kansas in 1923 and was first published in my private song pamphlets.

It is the un­of­fi­cial “school hymn” of Moo­dy Bi­ble In­sti­tute in Chi­ca­go, with which Run­yan was as­so­ci­at­ed for a num­ber of years.

The author Thomas Obadiah Chisholm had a poor start in life. Born in 1866 in a log cabin in Kentucky on July 29th. He went to the local country schoolhouse and there he stayed for many years, becoming at the age of sixteen a teacher in the same school without ever having left it. In 1887 he became editor of the local paper. And six years later at the age of 28 he became a Christian. Poor health dogged him all his days, he spent only a brief period as a Methodist Minister before having to give up, and he spent the remainder of his working life as a Life insurance agent in New Jersey. He retired in 1953 and lived until his death in 1960 in the Methodist Home for the Aged, Ocean Grove, New Jersey.

In a letter dated 1941 he writes:

"My income has not been large at any time due to impaired health in the earlier years which has followed me until now. Although I must not fail to record here the unfailing faithfulness of a covenant keeping God and that He has given me many wonderful displays of His providing care, for which I am filled with astonishing gratefulness."

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



aisa.ps33.3 said...

I was emotionally touched by the Great is Thy Faithfulness song... I overheard it in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia in one of the underground churches there... so powerful & encouraging song & lyrics... Glory To God!!!

Rob Spahr said...

Thank you for providing me with the lyrics for the tune "Great is Thy Faithfulness." I experienced an epiphany today (Jan. 3) coincidently on Epiphany Sunday 2010 while reading Thomas Chisholm's spiritual message.

As an author of a fantasy adventures series, I have come to trust my spiritual instincts. I happened on your website while seeking more biographical information about the poet.

I invite you to visit my website at www.adventuresoftorto.com and perhaps you will find something in my writing that, as a homeschooler, you may find useful.

God bless you for your internet faithfulness.

cryptognome said...

Thanks for putting the lyrics to this wonderful hymn online!

BTW, you need to fix the typo right after "William Runyon"...

Guest said...

I had a hymnal devotional that gave this background info. I needed to ruminate over that message today. Thank you for quoting the 1941 letter. Those words rang in my memory from the 90's. Thank you for allowing God to use your time as an additional gift now twice given.