Go Tell It on the Mountain: Day 1

Blessed Assurance

by

Today's Text: Genesis 28:10-17, Psalm 71:14-16, Psalm 146:1-2, John 6:47-51, Acts 2:32-36, 2 Timothy 1:11-12, 1 John 5:10-13

Scripture Reading: Genesis 28:10-17, Psalm 71:14-16, Psalm 146:1-2, John 6:47-51, Acts 2:32-36, 2 Timothy 1:11-12, 1 John 5:10-13

Fanny Crosby was born in the slums of Manhattan. Her family was so poor that when baby Fanny got a simple eye infection at six weeks old, they were unable to help her, resulting in the loss of her vision before she was even weaned. Still, she grew to be one of the most prolific hymn writers in America. Over the course of her 94 years, Fanny Crosby wrote well over 8,000 gospel songs. Given that she used more than 200 pen names, there may well be many more.

Fanny often composed lyrics to music written by friends. She just had a knack for it. But Fanny had standards, and wouldn’t write lyrics to just any old tune. Sometimes musicians would bring music from a saloon song and propose that she sanctify the lyrics. At this proposition, Fanny crossed her dignified ankles and declared, “Oh my, no.” She maintained that the Church must never sing its songs to the melodies of the world.

One of her dearest musician friends was Phoebe Knapp. And as poor as Fanny was, Phoebe was rich. She was born into the Brooklyn elite, and enjoyed the advantages of great wealth. These two very different women attended the same church and struck up a dear friendship. You could say Fanny’s favorite frolic was the philharmonics at Phoebe’s fancy flat. (But be careful.)

One afternoon, Phoebe sat at the piano and played a song of her own devising while Fanny listened quietly. As the story goes, when the music ended, Fanny clapped her hands and declared, “Why, that says ‘Blessed Assurance!'” And so the hymn was born.

Our assurance in Christ is indeed blessed. He promises us simply and truly that “Anyone who believes has eternal life” (John 6:47).


Blessed Assurance
by Fanny Crosby

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.

Refrain:
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.

SRT-Hymns7-Instagram-1

Sources:

Crosby, Fanny. Fanny J. Crosby, An Autobiography: the life of the beloved hymn writer, told in her own words. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2015.

Morgan, Robert J. Then Sings my Soul. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2011.

Osbeck, Kenneth W. 101 Hymn Stories: The Inspiring Stories Behind 101 Favorite Hymns. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel, 2012.

Petersen, Randy. Be Still, My Soul: The Inspiring Stories Behind 175 of the Most-Loved Hymns. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2014.

  • All things coerdinsed, this is a first class post

  • Casandra Gurau

    As I read this devotional I lay in bed crying. Tears of hope and joy. So many things have been weighing me down and my prayer began feeling like a whisper when I began this devotional. I heard and felt God call to me to wait on him and his promises. I love that God is reaching out to me still even when I feel like what once was a prayer has now become a hopeful whisper.

  • Holly Myers

    When I began to read I felt myself focusing on her blindness and yet line by line drew me into a God that is so BIG & so creative and full of surprises. I will never sing that song again without thinking about this. He is my ASSURANCE my everything and even through my perceived weaknesses His power stands taller. LOVE THIS!

  • “She maintained that the church should never sing its songs to the melodies of the world.” WOW. How often am I changing my tune to appeal to the world, or trying to make God seem more attractive than He already? Lord let me be a beacon of your TRUTH, may Who You ARE be attractive enough (it is!).

  • Atalie Jones

    For the past couple of weeks, I have put my relationship with Christ on the back burner. I so easily fell into the things of this world, and quickly left my Lord and Savior on the shelf. Lord, forgive me for not showing who You are to others. Restore me. Make me a new creation. I want to praise You all the day long.

  • I want to love the Lord as Franny did. I want to live those song lyrics truly everyday. Praise God, His love is truly unconditional

  • Bethany Lauer

    I love learning the meanings of where hymns are birthed. It gives them not only a much deeper meaning, but allows the words to speak in a way that I would have never imagined. I am so thankful for this study!

  • Our assurance in Christ is indeed blessed. He promises us simply and truly that “Anyone who believes has eternal life” (John 6:47).

  • It is mentioned that Fanny had lost her vision. I have been intrigued with how the blind often have other senses that become more acute. Fanny became musically inclined and her gift of spiritual sensitivity grew. I wonder if that would have flourished to the same extent had she not been blind. The Lord “took away” but also “gave” to Fanny in the same moment…. Also, given that she was blind, her lyrics referencing seeing are especially meaningful: “visions… burst on my sight”, “watching and waiting”, “looking above”.

    • Briana

      Similar things stood out to me as I read this. Also, her parents weren’t financially able to have her infection treated which directly led to her blindness. Their inability, nevertheless, was in keeping with God’s Sovereign & good plan for Fanny’s life. Meditating on this removes so much guilt I can place on myself as a parent for all the things I cannot afford my children. I can trust that the limits God has placed on my resources, time and energy and how that directly impacts my children are ALL within God’s Sovereignly GOOD plan for my kids.

  • I’m new here but I enjoyed it!

  • I love this hymn

  • We sang this at my grandpa’s funeral five years ago, and I am still touched deeply by these word. Yes, we can own them individually; but as believers we share this blessed assurance that we will all see Jesus and worship Him together. My grandpa was always telling people how good Jesus was to him. And I have “blessed assurance” that now my grandpa is with Him. “Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!”

  • This devotional in particular reaches my heart in a special way. Connecting scriptures with music is such a lovely way to learn more about God together! I’m so excited for this journey.

  • I love this devotional. It touches my heart so much. I love it.

  • First time using this app, and I absolutely love this devotional so far! Plus the comments are overwhelmingly great..I love being able to see and share what everyone learns from this. ❤

  • This has really captured me and reminds me to praise him and not be ashamed!

    • Mary

      I like this…to not be ashamed. Christians must always be willing to shine for Christ so others may know Him also. Sometimes I forget that and hide my love for Christ thinking that others would think it silly. But I must always shine for Him and give Him the glory always.

      • Bryanna

        I to sometimes felt ashamed and hid my love for Christ. In today’s world it’s so easy to get caught up with everything that’s “mainstream” you forget that you were put on this earth to shine bright for God. We are here to share his promises and share how great our God is. We have to put aside that fear in us, Jesus gave up everything and we feel ashamed to show our love for Christ. It seems so silly and so small but it is really fear. We just need to remember how great Christ is and remember we are here to shine through and let it be known how amazing he is!

  • Melody Suarez

    It’s good to be back!

  • Leigh Ann Mayfield

    When I read the first passage about Jacob, I noticed something that I had never noticed before in this passage. Jacob was in Haran! The same Haran where Terah had temporarily stopped with his son, Abraham. Isn’t it just like God to take Jacob to the same place that Abraham was called by God (Genesis 12) and heard the same covenant and “whispers of love” from the Lord Most High in Haran!

    • Sabrina Corpus

      Ms. Leigh! Thank you so much for sharing what the Spirit reminded you of! I immediately turned to Genesis 12 after reading your comment and you were right. It is such a “blessed assurance” to know that our God is a God that thinks ahead, who pays attention to the little details, whose “whispers of love” like you said. I loved this so much, thank you again for sharing!

    • Hannah

      Oh my goodness!! Thank you for reminding me how god is always thinking of ways to bring people back to their lineage. He is so wonderful

  • Currently, I am also studying from “Women in the Word.” The intro urges the reader to focus not upon the women and what they did or didn’t do, but rather to look at God’s interaction with them. Excellent perspective. I am using that same perspective with this hymn study. Look at the first verse and dwell upon what God has done for each forgiven and redeemed believer. Wow!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.

  • I read a short devotion this morning that challenged us to either become bitter or to embrace brokenness when things are difficult. The concept that stuck with me all day was the reminder that the bread that was broken was *in* Jesus’ hands. I wrote it on an index card to remind me at work, and actually spoke it aloud a few times today when I felt overwhelmed. Now I settle in to this reading and am reminded again of our blessed assurance, our delight and rest as we submit. Perfect lessons, perfect timing.

  • We sang this beautiful hymn at my beloved mother’s funeral yesterday…and while I am heartbroken, I am clinging to the security that she is lost in her Savior’s love right now!

    • Emily B.

      So sorry for your loss, but oh the comfort that comes from knowing your mama’s with Jesus now.

    • Tina

      Holding you up in prayer Shells… praising God for the Blessed assurance we have in our Savior… Jesus Christ…
      Sending you love wrapped hugs with prayers…

    • Becky

      We also sang this hymn at my father’s funeral a few months ago. Not only did it remind us of the assurance we have in our Heavenly Father, but also reminded us what a wonderful earthly father and grandfather had done to live out that blessed assurance for his family each day.

  • Allison Joy

    There is a lesser known (?) hymn that quotes 2 Tim. 1:12 in the chorus. “I Known Whom I Have Believed.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsFoFVRRYPk

  • For me: “Praising my Savior Lost in his love” is such a great motto to live by.

  • Listening to this song on repeat. And this stuck out to me: “heir of salvation, purchase of God, born of His Spirit, washed in his blood.” Heir… purchase… born… washed. This is my story. This is my identity, my inheritance, my blessing, my assurance. Our identity is rooted in Christ and we are blessed with the assurance of belonging to his family. We are given so many wonderful, beautiful spiritual gifts not because of anything we did to deserve them, but simply because we accept them as our birthright. Thank you, Father.

    • Emily B.

      Ooh, what you said about our birthright is so awesome. Thank you for pointing that out.

    • Megan

      So good!! Thank you for sharing!

    • Shawnda

      I love what you said about our identity being rooted in Christ, so often I forget who I am because I’m so busy comparing myself with others. I need to rest in the blessed assurance that comes in knowing Christ Jesus as my Savior. By submitting to him daily I can rest in his mercy and get lost in his love. This is my story and my song!

  • I love how ‘visual’ the lyrics of this hymn are, painting such a clear picture of Blessed Assurance. And to learn the history and how it was written by a blind woman is so inspiring. For not being able to see, she definitely articulated a beautiful picture of Salvation. Her sight was definitely set on Heaven!

  • What an inspiration Fanny is. Would I be able to have such faith in the midst of such hardships?

  • I follow stuff on Instagram and don’t even know what I’m following. I am so glad She Reads Truth posted about this devotional series. I found the app and subscribed to this series. I adore the hymns. Thank you for this!

  • Tochi Heredia

    Whoa, after knowing more about the lyricist, “visions of rapture now burst on my sight” gets a whole new meaning!
    I love how the assurance that the Patriarchs (and every other saint in the Bible) and Fanny lived in, wasn’t rooted in something they could see. What a faith! It wasn’t just about trusting God to deliver them, but also trusting that He’ll do it on His timing.
    Oh Father, help me in my unbelief!

  • Rebekah DeLibro

    Beautiful and never knew the story behind this favorite hymn! It is one of my favorites because it instills the loveliness and completeness of God’s love.

  • I love how Webster’s Dictionary defines assurance. “Confidence of mind or manner: easy freedom from self doubt and uncertainty; security.” Of all the uncertainties of this life, I am certain of one thing: Jesus is mine.

  • Jackie Kousma

    I love this hymn! I can have such confidence knowing I am a purchase of God and born of his spirit. I forget this concept often… It’s so easy for me to believe he has good for others, but this is a reminder that I can believe his goodness is for me too!

  • This is one of my favorite hymns, loved learning more about the writer and background of the song! :)

  • Christine

    I so clearly heard the Lord say to me as I opened this book, “Cry out to me Christine!”. I have not poured myself out before the Lord in earnest in far too long. The patterns and behaviors of addiction have crept back into my life after years and years of living for God. All of a sudden it feels as though I am completely in and of this world, consumed with anxiety and fear so bad it is physically manifesting itself in all kinds of ways. How did I get here? At what point did I did decide I could do it on my own? Why don’t I know better by now? I have no answers, but I can see it this morning, praise Jesus. I was able to cry out to Him. I was able to ask my husband for prayer and mean it and believe in God to answer. I was able to sit down in front of this study and not get distracted. I am able only because HE IS ABLE. I am thankful and hopeful and believing in God to show up because He has never failed me.

    • Laine

      Praying for you sweet sister!

    • Diane Huntsman

      This is beautiful!! Celebrating your awakening this morning and trusting Jesus to meet you again and again as you pursue Him anew! You are so loved dear sister and the heavens rejoice over your heart and life!! xoxo hugs!

    • Tochi Heredia

      What an encouraging testimony. How great is it that He is always there.
      Thank you for sharing your heart with us, Christine!

    • Kendra

      Thank you for sharing! He is good and knows your heart. Praying!

    • Emma Anne Stinson

      Praying for you! I fee the same way at times, I make plans and I think I can do it on my own and i quickly fill up with anxiety and stress. I quickly forget that I have God, that if I would just give myself to him, Oh what a peace! We cannot do this alone, but we have the blessed assurance that our God is with us. He never leaves and never changes.

    • Georgianna

      Beautifully said. Thank you so much for sharing. I, too, find myself wondering just how and when I decided that I didn’t need to stay so close to Him as I have in past times. I look back and KNOW how sweet the fellowship was, and can be again. But the world and the challenges of life are right there to pull me off track. I will be praying for you, and ask for prayer in return – not to go back to the relationship I miss (old manna), but to dive in more deeply and grow into a new and more wonderful relationship with Him.

    • Jenn

      Thank you for sharing. I, too have allowed certain patterns and behaviors back into my life recently. I haven’t made it to church in over a month and boy do I feel the difference. Prayers for you.

  • Ashley Motes

    I love the scripture Psalm 146:2 “I will praise the Lord as long as I live. I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath.” I long to be this involved and enthralled with God that I will expel my final breath in praise of his name. How wonderful he is and what he done for me, blessed assurance in deed!

  • Christina

    Oh, what rapturous visions must have burst on Fanny’s sight as she met her Lord! How beautiful this blessed gift of assurance to all who believe!

  • Shoot, I never thought about “visions of rapture” being penned by a blind woman. Wow.

    Speaking of singing and Jesus, I read this reflection of John Piper’s a while back, very worthwhile: http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/children-of-a-singing-god

    • GramsieSue

      Love this!” We are a singing people because we are children of a singing God.”

    • LB

      Thank you for sharing that – that was beautiful!

    • Sarah

      Wonderful concept – a singing Jesus! I imagine a deep beautiful rich voice melting away all the worries of the day.
      Thank you Carrie for the link!

  • I love the very first line, “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine.” So much of this life is so uncertain, but not my Savior and not my salvation. I have the blessed assurance that He is mine and I am His. Some of His assurances: “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go.” “I will not leave you until I have done what I promised.” “I am the bread of life.” “I am the living bread…” He is able to guard what has been entrusted to me. He has given me eternal life through His Son. He lives in me.
    It is overwhelming to realize how much our Papa God loves us!
    This is one of my favorite versions of “Blessed Assurance”. Enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76bjWc7nBmw

    • GramsieSue

      Oh Kathy! Thank you for sharing that link. It was such a great version to sing along with! And I love just sitting here praising Jesus. This SRT study will be so meaningful if we end our time singing and praising our Savior! ❤️

    • Emily B.

      Yes! Thank you for sharing your thoughts today!

  • Gina Glennon

    I love this study already!! What a glorious way to start the day, praising our Savior in song! And thank you Ellen for suggesting the website http://www.hymnal.net in order to sing along. Very helpful!

  • I love this song. I love the line “perfect submission” because that’s where it all starts. When we submit our lives to him all we will want to do is praise him all the days long

    http://Www.in-due-time.com

  • Oh this just makes my heart swell and my eyes too. As a teenager, I found Christ in a seemingly unlikely place for a teen from a very non believing family, a little country church. I had walked there on my own and found His people to love me and hear His story of redemption and grace that became my story! And this sweet hymn, even 20 years later, takes my minds eye back to those days and I am ever so thankful! I remember singing this for the first time after accepting Christ as my Savior, after letting go all the fears of my family’s regection, and how free I truly felt, and still do! Oh what a story that His should become mine!

  • I love the reminder of “perfect submission, all is at rest”….I’m walking with Christ, though life may not be perfect, I am ok…at rest or peace. Also love reading on how God uses us. Fanny took the cards she was given and look what she accomplished!! I enjoy being introduced to her…great start ☺

  • If you wish to sing this morning, check out this website; https://www.hymnal.net/en/hymn/h/308
    Beautiful hymn to start this study and the day.
    Blessings

  • Kristine L

    Love the hymn’s final line “lost in his love”. Oh to feel so deeply submerged and covered in God’s love that I can’t see the exit anywhere!

  • churchmouse

    American Idol. Simon Cowell. I recall one of the contestants on that show appearing before him and choosing to sing a gospel hymn. Mr. Cowell, in his acerbic way, pronounced the choice as self -serving and pandering. Oh no, Mr. Cowell. Gospel hymns are not self – serving but God-glorifying. When one has come to know the Savior, one can’t be quiet. Bursting into song is common and natural for the believer. When given the gift of voice (which truly we all are), we cannot help but proclaim the Giver. I’m so grateful for the composers who give us a common language to express both Who He is and how much we love Him. (thanks SRT-this study is going to keep me singing!)

  • Blessed assurance! To know that Jesus loves me, that he gave His life for me is such great Assurance! And I truly am blessed to call Him my Savior!

  • Loving this study :) first time I’ve done one ‘in sync’ with everyone else, excited for tomorrow’s :)

  • Beautiful hymn and beautiful story!

  • This is my first day using the app. I’m so excited to start my journey with God!

    • Dana

      Welcome!

    • Elisabeth7291

      Welcome! You will be blessed by this community.

    • Natalie Eddy

      Alison, so very glad you are beginning this most amazing journey!! I am personally going to pray that you will discover great truths and grow in your love and knowledge of our great Savior and God, Jesus Christ!! Blessed assurance, dear Sister.

    • Ashley Motes

      Welcome Alison!! So glad to have you here!

Further Reading...