Many of us know the popular hymn, “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” The chorus concludes with, “All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided. Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!” Unlike other hymns that were written under dire circumstances, like “It is Well With My Soul,” which was written by Horatio Spafford after he lost his four daughters in a shipwreck, “Great is Thy Faithfulness” was written under humdrum circumstances.
We often look for signs of God’s faithfulness, though we also often ascribe our own standards to what God’s faithfulness should look like. To one it means getting a promotion, to another having the perfect marriage or family life, and to another having a wonderful house that impresses your friends. Or maybe faithfulness means a miraculous healing for you or a loved one or freedom for a child who is struggling with addiction. While the Lord does indeed show up in many of these ways, it is not guaranteed that His faithfulness to us will appear in the exact way we would expect. Nevertheless, the Lord is always faithful to us and to His Word, which will always accomplish what He desires and never return to Him empty (Isaiah 55:11).
We do not need to be rescued from life-threatening danger or see God’s miraculous provision in the direst of financial crises to truly know the faithfulness of the Lord. These are certainly blessings and dramatic illustrations of His goodness, but we should not rely on them as the only examples. God remains faithful day in and day out, even in the smallest and most mundane circumstances.
This was a lesson that the children of Israel had to learn. There were undoubtedly extraordinary examples of God’s faithfulness, such as when He parted the waters during the Exodus or sent manna from heaven. But God was also with them every day. His very presence was in their midst. The greatest sign of His faithfulness to Israel was His presence with them (Emmanuel—God with us), just as it is the greatest sign of His faithfulness to us. The greatest illustration of that faithfulness is His Son, Jesus.
Sometimes we get lost looking for miracles and lose sight of His everyday faithfulness. Thomas Chisholm did not lose family or friends to tragedy, nor did he champion a great cause. He was not a charismatic preacher with thousands of people flocking to his church on Sunday. Although Chisholm did serve in ministry, his poor health left him no choice but to retire after only one year. And yet, Chisholm recognized that no matter what his circumstances, God is still faithful, “morning by morning.” God is not only seen in the spectacular: “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power, and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made…” (Romans 1:20); but also in the mundane: “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them” (Matthew 5:16). God is indeed great in His faithfulness.