Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father
There is no shadow of turning with Thee
Thou changes not, Thy compassion’s, they fail not
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be…

We love the hymn but what is the story behind “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”?

In a Kentucky log cabin Thomas O. Chisholm was born in 1866. Even though he was not offered a formal education, Thomas succeeded academically. Beginning work at the age of sixteen, Thomas became a schoolteacher in the same schoolhouse that he was educated. He later became associate editor of the local newspaper and moved on to be an editor of the Pentecostal Herald in Louisville, Kentucky. He also made some poetical contributions of his own to other local newspapers. At the age of 26, Thomas made one of the most important decisions that he would make in his life when he accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior in 1893. In 1903, he was officially ordained a minister, but was forced to limit his years of service due to his poor health.

Throughout his life, Thomas wrote hundreds of poems. One such poem was based in Lamentations 3:22-23 where it says, “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (ESV). Thomas eventually sent his work to a fellow minister and friend, William Runyan who configured a musical setting for the poem. George Beverly Shea was asked to sing the newly configured hymn on the Moody Bible Institute radio station.

A young student at Wheaton College at the time, Billy Graham was listening to the radio when he heard the song “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” Soon after, he asked George Shea to sing it as part of his ministry of evangelism. Eventually through the many crusades put on by Billy Graham, the song “Great is Thy Faithfulness” became internationally known.

Although Thomas Chisholm had suffered under poor health throughout his life, God’s faithfulness was evident to him. God has been faithful in the past, is faithful in the present and will continue to be faithful till the end of the age.  –Abby Forton, Geneva College

After seeing the kitchens in the temple (yesterday’s passage, chapter 46), Ezekiel noticed a trickle of water issuing from the Most Holy Place, past the altar on the south side. “The Man” shows him the purpose of the gushing waters that will feed the growth of the land in which he will divide among the twelve tribes of God’s people.

Wow, great is God’s faithfulness to fulfill His promises indeed!

Ezekiel 47, The Message

Trees on Both Sides of the River

Now he brought me back to the entrance to the Temple. I saw water pouring out from under the Temple porch to the east (the Temple faced east). The water poured from the south side of the Temple, south of the altar. He then took me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the gate complex on the east. The water was gushing from under the south front of the Temple.

3-5 He walked to the east with a measuring tape and measured off fifteen hundred feet, leading me through water that was ankle-deep. He measured off another fifteen hundred feet, leading me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another fifteen hundred feet, leading me through water waist-deep. He measured off another fifteen hundred feet. By now it was a river over my head, water to swim in, water no one could possibly walk through.

6-7 He said, “Son of man, have you had a good look?”

Then he took me back to the riverbank. While sitting on the bank, I noticed a lot of trees on both sides of the river.

8-10 He told me, “This water flows east, descends to the Arabah and then into the sea, the sea of stagnant waters. When it empties into those waters, the sea will become fresh. Wherever the river flows, life will flourish—great schools of fish—because the river is turning the salt sea into fresh water. Where the river flows, life abounds. Fishermen will stand shoulder to shoulder along the shore from En Gedi all the way north to En-eglaim, casting their nets. The sea will teem with fish of all kinds, like the fish of the Great Mediterranean.

11 “The swamps and marshes won’t become fresh. They’ll stay salty.

12 “But the river itself, on both banks, will grow fruit trees of all kinds. Their leaves won’t wither, the fruit won’t fail. Every month they’ll bear fresh fruit because the river from the Sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will be for food and their leaves for healing.”

Divide Up This Land

13-14 A Message from God, the Master: “These are the boundaries by which you are to divide up the inheritance of the land for the twelve tribes of Israel, with Joseph getting two parcels. It is to be divided up equally. I swore in a solemn oath to give it to your ancestors, swore that this land would be your inheritance.

15-17 “These are the boundaries of the land:

The northern boundary runs from the Great Mediterranean Sea along the Hethlon road to where you turn off to the entrance of Hamath, Zedad, Berothah, and Sibraim, which lies between the territory of Damascus and the territory of Hamath, and on to Hazor-hatticon on the border of Hauran. The boundary runs from the Sea to Hazor-enon, with the territories of Damascus and Hamath to the north. That is the northern boundary.

18 The eastern boundary runs between Damascus and Hauran, down along the Jordan between Gilead and the land of Israel to the Eastern Sea as far as Tamar. This is the eastern boundary.

19 The southern boundary runs west from Tamar to the waters of Meribah-kadesh, along the Brook of Egypt, and out to the Great Mediterranean Sea. This is the southern boundary.

20 The western boundary is formed by the Great Mediterranean Sea north to where the road turns east toward the entrance to Hamath. This is the western boundary.

21-23 “Divide up this land among the twelve tribes of Israel. Divide it up as your inheritance, and include in it the resident aliens who have made themselves at home among you and now have children. Treat them as if they were born there, just like yourselves. They also get an inheritance among the tribes of Israel. In whatever tribe the resident alien lives, there he gets his inheritance. Decree of God, the Master.”


God is still faithful!

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

Although we may sin, God is rich in mercy and continuously forgives his people of their many transgressions. He is the supplier of peace and His presence provides guidance. We can find true joy in Him and He provides us with strength to get us through each day with bright hope for tomorrow. This hope is our daily manna that provides sustained strength continuously. With each new morning that passes by, God brings new mercies, providing everything we need when we need it. Great is God’s never ceasing faithfulness!

Summer and winter, 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

The core of this hymn is simple, yet it entails some beautifully constructed messages. Overall, the message of the song points to the amazing faithfulness of our Heavenly Father. He has been, is, and always will be compassionate and unchanging. In every season, in every aspect of creation, we can bear witness to his everlasting faithfulness.

Ezekiel learned that the river flowed to the Dead Sea where it brought new life to that forsaken area. The water from the temple would heal the Dead Sea as well as the rivers, and the water creatures would multiply wherever the waters came. The trees on the banks of the river would provide food each month and the leaves would be used for healing.

God sent His Son to breathe new life into us, deaden by sin!  “I AM the Living Water”, says Jesus, taking us deeper, as we wade into the water with Ezekiel to understand the depth of God’s love, mercy and grace! 

Remember, Jesus talking to the Samaritan woman at the well in the heat of the day?  Here is a portion of that conversation—read all of John 4 and be blessed!

“When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[a])

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”  John 4:7-13

This new life begins by believing and repenting of our sins in the Name of Jesus—THIS is where we step into the “water” of eternal life.  Sins forgiven.  From death to new life with Jesus! 

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!

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

“Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, ‘Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’”John 7:37-38


“The kingdom age will wrap up all the previous ages in God’s revelation of Himself and His purposes. The land will be like the garden of Eden, complete with a river of life and trees of life. The promises made to Abraham will be fulfilled, and his descendants will possess and enjoy their land. The Law of Moses will be obeyed from the heart, and the Lord will be worshiped and glorified. The Messiah that Israel rejected at His first coming will be received and honored and will reign over them. God will fulfill every kingdom promise found in the pages of the prophets!” –Warren Wiersbe


You are indeed the promise fulfilled!  You are Savior and you are Lord.  You are Living Water and Bread of Life.  You are my Hope for life eternal with You.  In the meantime, continue to teach me and I will follow.

In Jesus Name, for Your glory, Amen

I’m standing the promises of God…

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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3 Responses to PROMISES OF GOD

  1. I truly loved reading this! Great is His promises to us all.
    Blessings, Elder Barbara


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