Hello esteemed friends. This hymn by Chisholm is our Hymnal of the week .
Below is the background story to the hymn and its lyrics. You can download it here
A native of the small Kentucky town of Franklin, Thomas Obediah Chisholm (1866-1960) was born in a log cabin. He lacked formal education. Nevertheless, he became a teacher at age sixteen and the associate editor of his hometown weekly newspaper, the Franklin Advocate, at age twenty-one.
In 1893 Chisholm became a Christian through the ministry of Henry Clay Morrison, the founder of Asbury College and Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. Morrison persuaded Chisholm to move to Louisville where he became editor of the Pentecostal Herald. Though he was ordained a Methodist minister in 1903, he served only a single, brief appointment at Scottsville, Kentucky, due to ill health. Chisholm relocated his family to Winona Lake, Indiana, to recover, and then to Vineland, New Jersey, in 1916 where he sold insurance. He retired in 1953 and spent his remaining years in a Methodist retirement community in Ocean Grove, New Jersey.
By the time of his retirement, he had written more than 1200 poems, 800 of which were published. They often appeared in religious periodicals such as the Sunday School Times, Moody Monthly, and Alliance Weekly. Many of these were set to music.
A phrase in Lamentations 3:22-23 provides a basis for the refrain: "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Stanza one emphasizes God’s unchanging nature: " . . . there is no shadow of turning with thee;/thou changest not, thy compassions they fail not." Perhaps James 1:17 provides the scriptural basis for this concept: "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."
In stanza two, the natural created order, including the cycle of the seasons, bears witness to the faithfulness of God. The final stanza brings the eternal, unchanging God into contact with humanity. We receive from the presence of God "Pardon for sin and a peace that endures."
LYRICSGreat 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 dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside.
This information is culled from https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/history-of-hymns-great-is-thy-faithfulness