Thomas Chisolm was born in Franklin, Kentucky on July 29, 1866. At 16 he became a teacher and editor of a local newspaper. Poor health would force him to move and change jobs several times over the years. It also caused him to struggle financially. He was, however, a talented writer and wrote some 1,200 poems. In 1925 he wrote “Great is thy faithfulness.” There was no single event that prompted him to write it. He simply reflected upon the faithfulness of God seen even in a difficult life. Near the end of his life he said,
“My income has not been large at any time due to impaired health in the earlier years which has followed me on until now. Although I must not fail to record here the unfailing faithfulness of a covenant-keeping God and that He has given me many wonderful displays of His providing care, for which I am filled with astonishing gratefulness.”
Mr. Chisolm was certainly not the first to contemplate the goodness of God and be overwhelmed by its immensity. At a time of great anguish, the prophet Jeremiah looked to Jehovah and proclaimed, “Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!” (Lam. 3:22-24).
If Jeremiah could ponder the newness of the mercies and compassions of God each day while the smoke of his burning homeland clouded the sky, how much more should we be able to rejoice in His goodness each day? As we look forward to a new year and to each new day, setting goals and making plans to capitalize the opportunities which God presents us, let us always be mindful of His goodness. Even in life’s most difficult hour the goodness and mercy of God is present.