Lessons from Hymns: Uncertainty and God's Faithfulness

Over the next few weeks, these newsletters will be going through a devotional series called Lessons from Hymns. Hymns are a huge part of our faith background and shaping the Western church. Each week, we will be discussing the words or themes of a classic hymn.

Our present moment is plagued with uncertainty. With a global health crisis, a blossoming civil rights movement, a divisive political climate, a struggling economy, environmental issues, etc., the world as we have known it so far may be gone sooner than we think. For the first time, many of us may be consciously experiencing the world to be the unstable and uncontrollable place it’s always been.

Uncertainty can lead to anxiety. We like to have plans, answers, assurance. The world is providing none of those things for us. But believe it or not, that’s actually good news for followers of Jesus. Because when the world fails us, it leaves us with nowhere to go but into the safe and loving arms of our savior. We have a God we can totally rely on.

The hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness” has been an encouragement to me in these times. When I worry about the future, or struggle to understand where God is in all of this, this hymn reminds me of the truth that I have experienced in God:

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

God has been faithful to us, God is faithful to us, and God will continue to be faithful to us forever. In our anxiety and uncertainty, may God’s love and provision give us comfort and hope. God is our good father who will never abandon us.

Acknowledging that life is hard that our world is uncertain is not a lack of faith in the goodness of God. It’s okay to grieve. Lament is healthy and good. These things are actually necessary in understanding the depth of the gospel. Jesus entered into the world we live in with all its imperfections. But his faithfulness is stronger than anything he experienced on earth‒stronger than sin, death, and the unknown. And Jesus' presence and faithfulness remain with his people today, even when we can’t feel it.

So while the world is spinning out of control, we can rest in the assurance we have in God. He is faithful!