We who preach and write, do so in a manner different from which the Scriptures have been written. We write while we make progress. We learn something new every day. We speak as we still knock for understanding...If anyone criticizes me when I have said what is right, he does me an injustice. But I would be more angry with the one who praises me and takes what I have written for Gospel truth than I would be with the one who criticizes me unfairly. -Augustine


Strength for Today; Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Strength for Today;
Bright Hope for Tomorrow!

Most are familiar with the lyrics of the well-known hymn, Great is Thy Faithfulness, and have sung with joy the heartfelt words:

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.

These words come from the heart of Thomas Chisholm, who directs our thoughts to a portion of Scripture that meant much to him. He received his inspiration from the study of Lamentations 3, which inspired him to pen these words:

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!

If I were to ask you to fill in the blank: “His _______ are new every morning,” most would say, “His mercies.” But if we take a closer look at Lamentations 3, we find that it is God’s compassions that fail not and are new every morning. This is a significant truth to bring with us into the New Year and to carry with us in our relationships with one another.

In Hebrew, the word “compassion” carries the idea of “tender love” or “to cherish.” It is like “a mother’s womb,” where one is safe and protected. God, in His compassion, forgives and protects us daily. The hymn-writer understood this as he wrote the words to the final stanza:

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!

No matter how strained a relationship might be, if it is approached with mercy and compassion, we will indeed find strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.

Published in: on December 27, 2011 at 2:45 pm  Comments (1)