1153) Blessed Assurance

Fanny Crosby (1820-1915), blind rescue mission worker

Phoebe Knapp  (1839-1908), wife of one of the founders and second president of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company

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     Fanny Crosby and Phoebe Knapp lived on opposite sides of the track and were of very different dispositions.  Fanny Crosby lost her sight as an infant, lived in the slums of Manhattan, and worked with the poor in a rescue mission house.  Phoebe Knapp was born to wealth and lived in luxury.  Fanny Crosby did not care for attention, and even objected when she was in the congregation and a pastor wanted to point her out as the writer of a hymn they were about to sing.  Phoebe Knapp lived extravagantly, dressing and acting in ways that made everyone notice her, and she loved the attention.  

     But these two women who lived such different lives, were good friends.  One day Phoebe told Fanny she worked up a little tune on her piano and wanted to play it for her.  Pheobe played it a few times, and then Fanny said “That sounds to me like blessed assurance.”  Within a few minutes Miss Crosby wrote down the three verses and chorus that have become so well known.  It was published in 1873.  Dwight Moody, the most famous evangelist the time, heard it and liked it.  He started using it in his revival meetings, and a new American favorite was born: “Blessed Assurance.”

     Of the over 8,000 hymns Fanny Crosby wrote, “Blessed Assurance” has remained one of her most cherished.  This hymn was so well loved by Crosby herself that she chose the first verse for the inscription on her gravestone.

BLESSED ASSURANCE

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine;
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood. 

This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.
This is my story, this is my song,
  Praising my Savior all the day long.

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending, bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.
Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Savior am happy and blest;
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.
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Blessed Assurance performed by Alan Jackson:
And by CeCe Winans at the Kennedy Center, honoring Cicely Tyson:

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I John 5:13  —   I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

Hebrews 11:1  —  Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

I Timothy 3;13  —  Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.

Hebrews 10:22a  —  Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings.

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 You, O Lord, will keep in perfect peace
    those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

Give me the faith to have such trust in you, O Lord, now and forever,
    for you are my everlasting rock.

–Prayer based on Isaiah 26:3-4

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