Alistair Begg on God’s Faithfulness
The words to the poem “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” written by Thomas O. Chisholm back in 1923 were so moving that the musician who gave them melody prayed earnestly that he might pen a tune worthy of the lyric. His prayer was answered! Today, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” is sung in churches around the world and is a hymn you likely know well.
“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 has 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!”
– Thomas O. Chisholm
It’s good food for our souls to routinely read of God’s faithfulness in Scripture. This serves as a helpful reminder that the Bible pulsates with the drumbeat of God’s faithfulness from beginning to end. When we study the revelation of God’s character in the Bible, we find that faithfulness is not an external attribute, but one that is grounded innately in His nature. This truth is a great comfort to ponder on a gray afternoon – or on a sunny one for that matter! The Psalms in particular are rich with encouragement along these lines: “As for you, O Lord, you will not restrain your mercy from me; your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me!” (Psalm 40:11)
In Galatians, Paul reminds us that faithfulness is part of the fruit that comes as a gift from God’s Spirit. We don’t foster it on our own. It is cultivated in us through the work of the Spirit, therefore we can only become Christ-like and possess the characteristics Paul describes through God’s sovereign grace.
My late friend Jerry Bridges succinctly explained our complete dependence on God’s faithfulness “for deliverance from temptation, for ultimate sanctification, for the forgiveness of our sins, for deliverance through times of suffering, and for the fulfillment of our ultimate hope of eternal life.” It’s humbling when we fully grasp that our journey to salvation is all grace from beginning to end.
Our first resource this month helps us to understand that God’s faithfulness remains even when tragedy strikes. In Where was God when that happened? Christopher Ash gives helpful insight into God’s sovereignty in the wake of painful events. And, in our second offer, we explore the greatest image of God’s faithfulness – the sending of the Lord Jesus to reconcile us to Himself. Name above All Names explores the Scripture to provide an in-depth portrait of Jesus. As always, I commend both these books to you highly.