Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
— Lamentations 3:22–23
These verses, from a book whose title refers to “the act of expressing grief,” influenced the lyrics of “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” A staple of church hymnals, this beautiful song celebrates the goodness of God in the lives of believers. It has lately become a favorite of mine as I’ve paid closer attention to the words. One verse of the hymn declares:
Summer and winter and 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.
How often are we directed to look to creation as evidence of God’s character? Scripture points regularly to nature to help illustrate the Lord’s might, power, faithfulness, love, and myriad other wonderful qualities. Psalm 104 praises the Creator’s “splendor and majesty,” greatness and power, and provision of sustenance for plants, animals, and humans. Psalm 147 points to God’s faithfulness displayed in nature and then encourages readers to put hope “in his unfailing love.” Romans 1 even declares that God’s truth and qualities are revealed so clearly in creation that the wicked are “without excuse.”
RTB founder Hugh Ross excels at pointing out the ways creation testifies to God’s “faithfulness, mercy, and love”—with a scientific flavor. For example, Earth’s biodiversity and greenhouse gases are delicately balanced to counter the effects of the Sun’s increasing luminosity. Our unique Moon was likely formed through a perfectly timed and placed collision between Earth and a Mars-sized object. On a microscopic scale, bacteria, despite their bad reputation, benefited all life by helping prepare the planet for more advanced creatures and today they adapt to clean up natural and man-made messes (such as the BP oil spill).
In other words, humanity’s environment is fine-tuned for our civilization to thrive and for God to achieve His good and perfect will. In his book Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job, Hugh puts it this way, “The mind-boggling age and extent of the universe and the unfathomable intricacies of even the tiniest entities within it all proclaim that God has mind-boggling and unfathomable plans and purposes for it—and for humanity.”
To me, the evidence of God’s care and love in creation make it all the easier to sing and believe the final verse of “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.”
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.
Resources: Discover more about God’s design of and purpose for creation in Hugh’s unique book Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job