By Hymn Stories
"Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith. . . .Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." -Hebrews 10:22-23
The Scriptures teach that we can know with absolute certainty that we have the life of God within us (1 John 4:13). This confidence is not based on inner feelings or outward signs. Rather, this "blessed assurance" is founded upon the promises of a faithful God and this inspired Word. It depends not on the amount of our faith but on the object of our faith--Christ Himself!
Though she become blind at six weeks of age through improper medical treatment, Fanny Crosby wrote more than eight thousand gospel song texts in her lifetime of ninety-five years. Her many favorites such as "Blessed Assurance" have been an important part of evangelical worship for the past century.
Often the themes for Fanny Crosby's texts were suggested by visiting ministers who wished to have a new song on a particular subject. As she once said, "Our home is a beehive of activity with so many friends dropping in and requesting a new hymn for some special occasion." At other times musician friends would first compose the music and then ask Fanny for matching words. Such was the prompting for the hymn "Blessed Assurance." One day Mrs. Joseph (Phoebe) Knapp, who was an amateur musician, the daughter of a noted Methodist evangelist, and a close personal friend, visited Fanny in her New York home.
"Oh Fanny, I have had a new melody racing through my mind for some time now, and I just can't think of anything else. Let me play it for you and perhaps you can help me with the words."
After kneeling in prayer and clutching her little Bible, the blind poetess stood to her feet with face aglow: "Why, that music says, 'Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine! O what a foretaste of glory divine. . . .'"
Soon the words began to flow from her heart, and there was born another of the more than eight thousand gospel hymns by this godly woman, the "queen of gospel music." And still today our hearts are inspired and our spirits lifted as we sing this musical testimony together.
Only eternity will reveal fully the host of individuals whose lives have been spiritually changed and enriched through the texts of Fanny Jane Crosby's many hymns.
"Beware of despairing about yourself. You are commanded to put your trust in God and not yourself." -Augustine (354-430)