Thursday, 2 August 2018

New Life Celebrated--An Old Treasured Hymn Made New

"I Found My Treasure, My Pleasure in Thee"

John Piper is a much appreciated minister of the Gospel.  He is now retired from the pastoral ministry.  He remains busy, however.  He was speaking at a recent conference on Deuteronomy 29 & 30.  The folk leading the attendees in singing had scheduled "Great is Thy Faithfulness" as one of the hymns.  It is a great favorite of many.

John Piper thought he would contribute a couple of new verses that would reflect more directly some of the themes in his lectures.  They became an instant "hit".

Here is the "up-to-date" rendition of "Great is Thy Faithfulness" with the new Piper verses included in italics.

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 will be

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

I could not love Thee, so blind and unfeeling;
Covenant promises fell not to me.
Then without warning, desire, or deserving,
I found my Treasure, my pleasure, in Thee.

I have no merit to woo or delight Thee,
I have no wisdom or pow’rs to employ;
Yet in thy mercy, how pleasing thou find’st me,
This is Thy pleasure: that Thou art my joy.

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.

Great is Thy faithfulness, great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me

Here is a description of Piper's love of poetic verse: 
It’s not inaccurate to describe Piper as a compulsive writer, a “pensive introvert” with an “inexplicable impulse to create,” especially “something I can see or hear and regard as an expression of truth and beauty.” He’s penned more than 50 books and a daily journal since he was a sophomore in college. (“I don’t know what I think until I write.”)

But maybe his favorite thing to write is poems. “When I began to read in the 11th grade—seriously, before that it was forced and mainly picture books—I fell in love both with what was said and how it was said,” Piper said. “So I became a lit major at Wheaton. I read so slowly—no faster than I can talk—that I skipped all the courses on the ‘novel’ and took as many poetry classes as I could.”

One of the best parts of poetry is its precision of language, he said. (Unsurprisingly, he’s not a fan of free verse, which “strikes me as tennis without a net.”) Since high school, he’s scribbled out more than a thousand careful poems—for celebrations like birthdays and baptisms, and for situations that “I feel deeply and want to feel more deeply.” (He’s published six small books full.)

“Being forced to put truth into meter and rhyme and still have it sound natural and striking is profoundly satisfying,” he said.

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