Great Is Thy Faithfulness

The Reading for Today: Lamentations 3

On or about these days, Jewish people celebrate the Ninth of Av, the date in the Jewish calendar, which recalls the destruction of the two Temples in Jerusalem. It is a day of mourning and sadness for all of us, for the way in which the forces of darkness seek to reduce God’s presence to rubble in the world.

For Christians, the various attempts to eradicate the temple of the living God in the members of Christ’s body, the New Temple, is our way of sharing in the losses of our ancestors. Yet what martyr is celebrated with sadness! They live on in the temple in the heavenly Jerusalem.

The flow of mourning in this chapter is suddenly interrupted by verses 22-23. Thomas Chisholm, late member of The First United Methodist Church in Vineland, N.J. where I was pastor from 2000-08, composed the famous hymn “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” based on these verses.

The Reading for Today

Daily Bible Breaths

Version for Children and Families

This is the ninth of thirteen weeks
in the season of Pentecost, Year B
Mondays are dedicated to the Prophets, currently reading Hosea.

2 thoughts on “Great Is Thy Faithfulness

  1. As I read through this devotional portion of Lamentations 3 today I am struck by how shallow and fleeting our faith can be towards God and How epic His love and faithfulness for us has always been! I mean, be for real, He loves us even when we are hurting each other or ourselves and He is consistent even when we are in panic mode! In a small a way, I have been able to grasp both God’s pain for His Kids while the suffer and His faithfulness as time has been a teacher to me in those afflicted days and even afflicted seasons of life.
    I remember the excruciating, wrenching pain and helplessness of seeing my son Charles recovering from a difficult eye surgery when he was a little boy. As I carried him to the car from the eye clinic, I cried out to God as I looked at my little boy with bloody patches over his eyes! I pleaded with God, I asked Him, what can I do? God assured me that this season of time would pass and my son would recover. I gleaned a little insight on what it is like for the Lord to see us in pain, suffering (self-inflicted or by others) and from His perspective knowing all things in a larger picture. Suffering is not pleasant and yet it has its purposes in eternal ways we may never know or understand.
    This is why I feel it is unreasonable for man to lose faith in God because of troubled times, He has always acted in faithfulness to those who trust in Him! He is even faithful to those without faith in troubled times, because He allows the time and space for them to find Him in their pain and in that find the even greater gift of eternal security.
    As I read Lamentations and I reflect back to some painful time, perhaps when my faith had wavered, I am now able to think of the indisputable record of God’s faithfulness. Was God there? Did God love Me? Will He be there the next time the darkness is all around Me? YES, YES, YES, God is faithful! Have faith in Him, We will not be consumed for He is with us forever, His Love for us is huge and forever is bigger than anything I will face on earth. Do I need to understand everything? NO!
    Lamentations 3:20-27 I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassion’s never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young.


  2. This very day, July 30, 2012, was a day of fear. Where could I safely lay my head? My choices were two, both of which may have been anything but safe. How to choose? Which would be the safest? Fear began to shake my soul, to make me feel foolish.

    Then I remembered the Lord’s faithfulness. I heard the words the author of Lamentations longed for, “be not afraid.” I praised God for showing me my foolishness and was able to trust that the Lord would guide me to make the right choice, that he would keep me safe. I was no longer afraid.

    22 Certainly the faithful love of the Lord hasn’t ended;[f] certainly God’s compassion isn’t through!
    23 They are renewed every morning. Great is your faithfulness.
    24 I think The Lord is my portion! Therefore, I’ll wait for him.

    25 The Lord is good to those who hope in him, to the person[h] who seeks him.

    I am writing this a couple of days later. My choice came easily once I trusted in God. Yes, I made the right one. I know this both by the fact that I awoke safely and by the fact that the other choice has become more clearly the wrong one.

    Unlike the author of Lamentations, we live in a time when we have been forgiven for our foolishness and sins. The ransom has been paid. We all live through times of fear, but we do not need to carry or live in that fear. Fear not and turn to the Lord.


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