Blessed Assurance
Don't let it Lapse
Kathy Bernard - Publisher

”Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith,
having our hearts sprinkled
 from an evil conscience, and
our bodies washed with pure water.”  Hebrews 10:22


Just before dawn my parents shook us children awake, saying we must get up and leave the house immediately.  “Hurry, hurry” they said in urgent voices.  There was no time to dress.  They quickly wrapped us in our warm bed blankets and literally carried us out through the rooms to the outdoors where the smell of burning wood was fanned by a soft morning breeze.   I immediately saw the tall, bright flames enveloping the wood framed house next to ours, lighting the gray sky with an unnatural brightness and drifting smoke.  I heard loud, pounding footsteps of neighbors on the pavement of our block, punctuated by anxious shouts as they herded their small children out of danger, some crying and screaming in helpless fear.  The whole scenario was unreal as we stood there on the sidelines, peeking through our parent's arms.   Our eyes were big with shock, as we stared at the huge red and yellow flames with curls of smoke licking at the house.   I remember my mom inquiring whether the people who lived in the burning house were all safe and accounted for, and thanking God that no one was hurt.  Through this horrific drama, neighbors stood deep in thought and fear, worrying about the possible loss of their own homes on the block.  Although my mom and dad did not voice their fears out loud for our tender ears to hear, it was in their eyes.

In the nearby distance I could hear the wail of New Orleans fire trucks, coming closer, louder, speeding through the daybreak to our block.  Amid the clang of bells, trucks pulled up to the burning house and the men, dressed in fire gear, jumped from the truck with authority and made their way through the chattering crowd clad in various attire of old flannel robes, dilapidated slippers and general disarray.  No one really cared about appearance for we all were frightened members of one connected group.  The firemen began unraveling their hoses, attaching them to hydrants with professional mastery, and for that morning they were our heroes.  People stood watching, praying and hoping for a miracle that the flames consuming the house would not send its cinders to their homes.  You could see and feel the panic.  Children’s voices were shrill, eyes huge in their little faces, questioning their parents in low scary voices about safety of toys and books, a symbol of bigger fears.

There was one neighbor who made everyone pause in their nervous chatter when he said, “I hope all of you took out the proper insurance for your “stuff”.  After a pause, their voices accelerated as the reality of the question made everyone conscious of their own vulnerability, and one could see the thoughts rattling around in their heads; “do I have enough insurance, what if my insurance does not cover my furniture or my treasures?”  Although some did not say it out loud they thought, “Did I pay that bill to the insurance company, is it up to date?  I meant to get insurance on my things but I can’t remember if I did.  Insurance is so expensive these days.  What shall I do if this fire consumes my house too?  Where will I go, what will I do?  How much money can I lay my hands on to start anew?  I do not have enough to stay indefinitely in a hotel.  Should I get my things out now so I will be ready should the fire spread to my house?  Will I have time to get to my important papers to see what my insurance covers?

Today, looking back, it makes me think of all the insurance we must keep current such as life insurance, medical insurance, in addition to the insurance on our houses and belongings, seeing with clarity how no insurance must ever lapse, for it cannot be recovered if it happens during the very crisis it is supposed to protect. 

But more importantly than earthly insurance is our relationship we have with Jesus Christ Who gives us the assurance we need to press on to Him.   For what good will the things of this world be to us when we stand in front of the Lord to give an accounting of ourselves?  Do we have the most important type of surety needed to meet Almighty God one day?  Are we ready to stand confidently with stanch faith, knowing that we have not only accepted the gift of Jesus Christ’s salvation but have wrestled with sin and won?   Are we confident that we have God’s Blessed Assurance?

How do we get this assurance?  Certainly we cannot buy it.  And yet, it is the single most important and precious thing we must have if we want an eternity with Jesus Christ and God, the Father.

As human beings we tend to mentally take a step back or become confused if asked where we stand with God.   Sometimes we are consumed with fear and guilt thinking about the inevitable meeting that awaits us all someday.  Some do not realize that we are all sinners, but a long time ago there was someone who paid the price with His life to erase those sins. He did not ask a price for this sacrifice because there is no price that could pay or atone for the sins of the whole world.  He freely offered His gift of salvation He died for so each of us could receive redemption.  He lovingly handed it to us and said that if we accept His gift, believe that He is our Savior and follow His teachings, He would give us assurance that someday we would live forever with Him.  When He rose triumphantly from the grave, He told us that He was going home to His Father to prepare a place for me and for you, and one day He would come back and gather all His faithful followers to take us to His Father’s Kingdom.  In John 14:2 He tells us, “If this were not so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you”.  This is His blessed assurance to us as believing Christians.    

In the year 1873, there was a lady who knew and understood from the heart what God’s Blessed Assurance was.   Fannie J. Crosby was totally blind but this did not stop her from using her writing abilities.  Along with her friend Phoebe Knapp who composed the music to many hymns, this Christian lady penned the words to “Blessed Assurance”.  She was one of the most prolific hymn writers in history, having written over 8,000 hymns.  It is told that although Fannie lived in a slum, everyone who knew her loved her. Grover Cleveland, who later became President of the United States, was one of her close friends.  He met Fanny Crosby as a young man, and they maintained that friendship for countless years.  Among Fannie's many distinguished friends,  Phoebe Knapp was a wealthy woman who lived in a beautiful mansion and loved writing music. Now Phoebe knew of Fanny’s great lyric writing talent, so one day at her home she played a melody on the piano for Fannie who had come to visit.  She asked her friend,   "How does this music speak to you?" she asked.  Fanny got excited and without hesitation, clapped her hands and replied, "It says, 'Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine!"

Do you have “Blessed Assurance” or are you counting on an insurance plan that covers “just in case”?  We have all heard of some people who go to Church as  “just in case" insurance.  They are not sure what it means to accept Jesus Christ into their lives or whether a belief in God will assure them of an eternal life.  If it is true, they are willing to take a chance to secure their place.  After all, they reason, it is easy to say “I believe” and then live a “pick and choose” Christian life.  However, God does not want to us to think of Him in terms of insurance.   He wants us to live as His disciples through faith, spreading a legacy of godliness, sharing His Word, and avoiding sin. 

Do not follow what the world teaches but dig deep in your heart to find the truth God has written there.  Don’t be comfortable using a human yardstick that may be faulty or incorrect.  Amid the clutter of life, the squalor of sin, the pain and suffering of human living, and all the new rules placed by an “it’s all good” society, realize with innate knowledge, backed by the Holy Spirit, that we must travel through rivers of disappointments, sufferings, trials, and burdens, yet holding on to what Jesus taught, and what He left for all of us through His Word.

And so, do not be obsessed with fear and worry as those who do not believe, for as Christians we have God’s infinite grace and His blessed assurance written in the blood of Jesus Christ.  Remain firm and steadfast with courage, running the course, keeping your eyes trained on the main.  If you have stumbled, get forgiveness immediately, for it says in 1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."  None of us can afford the luxury of waiting.  Read Luke 12:20"But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?"

If you do not know Jesus Christ, pray a simple prayer and ask God to touch your heart and let you know He loves you, or ask someone to pray with you.  Ask Him to enlighten you with His truth, knowing He will not let you flounder alone.  In faith accept what was given to you freely from a cross over two thousand years ago for if you accept His wondrous gift of salvation, someday all of us who believe and were faithful, including you and you, and yes even I, will stand with dignity before the Living God, backed by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ Who will speak our names with precious pride and say, “They are with me, Father”. 

This is your Blessed Assurance. 

Fannie J. Crosby
Phoebe Knapp


Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O 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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