Crosby’s hymn ‘Blessed Assurance’ shines forthSpecial to The Mountaineer
The Blessed Baby Jesus left the cradle. He grew to be a man who was the perfect fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. He became a teacher, preacher and healer, loved by some but hated by others. They planned for his death. But praise God, that was not the end.
Jesus the Christ arose from the dead, is alive again and has sent the Holy Spirit to fill us with His power. That is the way we live the Christian life with the assurance of abundant and eternal life.
We sing of these glorious truths in the hymn, “Blessed Assurance,” that shines His light into our hearts. However, it was not composed by a person who had no difficulties nor anything to overcome.
Composer, Fanny Crosby was blind. A few days after her birth in 1820 in New York, a poorly treated eye infection, took away her sight for the rest of her life. But her strong and loving parents had great assurance of God’s love and power as they asked for His guidance in her life.
Hebrews 10:22 speaks of this kind of faith: “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith…” Her family and friends watched as little Frances Jane revealed a quick mind and cheerful attitude. Nothing seemed to hinder her, as she memorized anything that was read to her. At a young age she could recite the first five books of the Bible and the four Gospels. As an excellent student at the New York Institution for the Blind, she remained there to become a teacher for many years.
Fanny Crosby’s personal relationship with Jesus Christ was the inspiration for the many hymn texts she wrote. Leading composers of that day often asked her to write words for their musical compositions, which is the way this great message came about.
It was during a casual visit to see a friend when she was asked to find some words for a new and joyful tune. As was her way, Fanny knelt by her chair, asked for God’s guidance and immediately these words came from her heart.
“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.”
The meaningful life of a very small woman who was a great artist in words, ended Feb. 12, 1915. She was buried in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where she had spent the last of her 95 years with her loving family.
The citizens of the community erected a large marker at her grave. “Our gospel did not come to you in word only but also in power…and in much assurance.” (I Thessalonians 1:5) That inscription concludes with the words of the beloved hymn, “Blessed Assurance.”
As we study the vibrant life of Fanny Crosby, we learn that she also wrote the words to thousands of other hymns. But this has been a favorite for millions of Christians. We grow closer to our Lord with each word, closing with the chorus, “This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long”.
Reach Lucy Adams at Lucya424@aol.com or visit www.52hymns.com.