By Virginia Brandt Berg
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We find our scripture this morning in Lamentations, the third chapter. That’s where you’ll find those words that we hear so much these days in this song “Great is Thy faithfulness.”
Jeremiah is saying, “This I recall to mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.”1
No wonder we say then,
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 wilt be.
Great is His faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies we see.
All we have need of, His hand has provided,
Truly we can say, Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.2
Now you’ll notice these words where he said, “This I recall.” It is a grand thing to wait and recall to mind God’s past faithfulness. I love that verse, “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.”3 You meditate on His past faithfulness, and the terror will go out of your spirit and you will walk on in victory to the strains of that verse in Hebrews 13: “For He Himself hath said, I will in no wise fail thee nor will I in any wise forsake thee. So that with good courage we say, ‘The Lord is my helper, I will not fear.’”4
So the prophet here lets his meditations gather round the times the Lord did not fail him, and he says, “This will I recall to mind; this will I recall to mind.”
In the next verses he says he will quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord, and he assures his heart that the resources of the Lord will not be exhausted in the hour of great trial or of real testing. “For the Lord,” he says, “will not cast off forever,” that though He will allow grief, “yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.”5
Then the Psalms, over in the wonderful verses in the 119th Psalm, beginning with the 73rd verse, it speaks again of God’s faithfulness:
“Thy hands have made me and fashioned me. Give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments. They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in thy word. I know, O Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me. Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant. Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live, for thy law is my delight.”6
Then in the same psalm David goes on to say, “Quicken me after thy lovingkindness; so shall I keep thy testimony. Forever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven. Thy faithfulness is unto all generations. Thou hast established the earth, and it abideth. They continue this day according to thine ordinances. Unless thy law had been my delight, I should then have perished in mine affliction. I will never forget thy precepts, for with them thou hast quickened me.”7
He says, “My soul fainteth for thy salvation; I hope in thy word. Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me? I am become like a bottle in the smoke; yet do I not forget thy statutes.”8 But note this verse especially: “Thy faithfulness is unto all generations.”9 It’s so precious when you read again and again and again all through this Word of His faithfulness!
Turning over now to the 36th Psalm, and beginning with the fifth verse: “Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens, and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds. Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep. O Lord, thou preservest man and beast. How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.”10
How it brings out the great faithfulness of the Lord! Especially in this 5th verse: “Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens, and thy faithfulness reacheth up unto the clouds.” Now you can see in this verse that David, like the prophet Jeremiah, meets persecution and disappointment—that is, through his enemies—and he cries out in this wonderful prayer.
Jeremiah was exalting the faithfulness of the Lord, and David now is lifted up in the Spirit as he cries also, “Great is Thy faithfulness.” And it goes on and on, up to a grand crescendo in this passage, “Thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.”
The moment of supreme testing should be the moment of divine illumination, when you find with positive assurance that the resources of God are sufficient and unfailing for your every need because of His great 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.
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.
And now in closing, in the 89th Psalm David waxes so eloquent about the Lord’s faithfulness that he cries aloud here, “The Lord is my defense. I have laid help upon one that is mighty! I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever; with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.”11
You say, “I have at times been so faithless I can’t have faith and confidence the Lord would come to my help.” But God still forgives! He cleanses and restores. Come to Him today and confess. Tell Him all about it. He loves you and longs for your fellowship again. He has not turned His face from you: you turned your face from Him. And if you’ll turn back, remember He says, “I will in no wise fail thee.” And in Timothy He says, “Though we are faithless, he remaineth faithful.”12
He has promised to make known to you His faithfulness, for He’s still on the throne and prayer changes things. Great is His faithfulness! Lay hold of it today. God bless you.
An original Meditation Moments broadcast (circa late ’50s/early ’60s), by Virginia Brandt Berg. Republished on Anchor July 2021.
1 Lamentations 3:21–26.
2 Adapted from “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” by Thomas Obadiah Chisholm, 1923.
3 1 Samuel 7:12.
4 Hebrews 13:5–6.
5 Lamentations 3:31–33.
6 Psalm 119:73–77.
7 Psalm 119:88–93.
8 Psalm 119:81–83.
9 Psalm 119:90.
10 Psalm 36:5–7.
11 Psalm 89:18–19, 1.
12 1 Chronicles 28:20; 2 Timothy 2:13.