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Day 5 – There is a Fountain Filled with Blood

I was drawn to William Cowper (pronounced Cooper) because of his testimony. He was born on November 15, 1731 in Great Berkhampstead, England and died in April, 1800. His father was chaplain to King George II so it appears that William was raised on God’s word. William studied to become an attorney but he never actually practiced law. He struggled with temporary madness to the point that he made several attempts at drinking poison only to have spasms in his hand which prevented him from doing so. Talk about the hand of God on his life! He then tried to hang himself with a strong garter. He passed out and then the garter broke while he was still suspended. After he recovered, he struggled with knowing that God could forgive him for this attempt. It was then his life changed.

Today’s hymn was the first hymn William wrote after his recovery. It is evident that the Lord worked in him and gave him the assurance of forgiveness.

There is a Fountain Filled with Blood
William Cowper

There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.
Lose all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.
Washed all my sins away, washed all my sins away;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood shall never lose its power
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.
Be saved, to sin no more, be saved, to sin no more;
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.

E’er since, by faith, I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.
And shall be till I die, and shall be till I die;
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.

Then in a nobler, sweeter song, I’ll sing Thy power to save,
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.
Lies silent in the grave, lies silent in the grave;
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.

Lord, I believe Thou hast prepared, unworthy though I be,
For me a blood bought free reward, a golden harp for me!
’Tis strung and tuned for endless years, and formed by power divine,
To sound in God the Father’s ears no other name but Thine.

What words! They were penned by a repentant man in need of the assurance of love from his God! William could not stand the fact that he entertained thoughts of suicide. I have been in his shoes. I did not suffer from madness but I entertained suicidal thoughts. Had it not been for the grace of God, I would not be here today writing devotionals and praising Him! My Heavenly Father sent a dear friend to me from a thousand miles away to share the salvation message! She arrived in the nick of time because a few short days later was when I planned to end it all. Thank You, Lord! I was born again and those suicidal thoughts left me and I have never entertained them since! \o/

The devil uses despair to play mind games with the believer. I have seen it in my own life and I have seen it in the lives of others. The key to despair is how we deal with it. I compare my Christian walk with that of a car. A car starts off brand new and it works beautifully. It smells good – it looks good – it drives great! Depending on the car’s owner, the car may or may not continue to run well. If the owner does not fill the car with fuel regularly, it will run out of gasoline and stop working. If the owner does not perform the scheduled maintenance checks, the car will begin to experience problems. If the tires are not checked from time to time, the owner can expect a flat. There are many things that must be maintained on a car to ensure that it runs properly.

The same holds true for the Christian. When the Christian first gets saved, he is on fire for the Lord and it seems that nothing can stop him.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Co 5:17)

However, as the Christian gets older, there are things that he must do to maintain his spiritual zeal. Our fuel is the word of God. Without daily fuel from above, we can expect to sputter and eventually stop. How can we deal with the day’s problems without the proper fuel from above to keep us going in the time of storm? Without our scheduled maintenance (church services), we can expect to encounter problems with our walk. One cannot expect to be able to draw on our spiritual resources if we have not put anything into them. Being in the word of God daily helps us to remember a verse when we need one desperately. The Holy Spirit reminds us of a passage that we read a couple of weeks ago, or even that very morning. Paul exhorted the Ephesians not to grieve the Holy Spirit of God but to put away those old things (sins).

That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; (Eph 4:22)

The Christian who does not stay in the Scriptures will find himself grieving the Holy Spirit and he won’t be able to hear His still small voice when he needs it most. He will not have the resources to pull from when the devil begins to push him into the sea of despair. I have seen two types of people who suffer from chronic illnesses. The first is in God’s word and is able to make it through each day because of God’s grace he receives from the word. The other has become an embittered person, full of disdain for the world around him, because he has nothing to draw from. God’s word brings healing – maybe not physically, but spiritually. Our Emmanuel (God with us) is there to heal our broken spirits when the devil is busy trying us sore.

How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. (Act 10:38 )

Have you ever heard the term FIFO? It is an inventory term used in warehouses. It stands for First In First Out. It means that the first piece of inventory that goes on the shelf should be the first piece of inventory that leaves the shelf. It is the same with our own spiritual lives. If we put something into our spiritual inventory, it will be the first thing that surfaces in our lives. If we read our Bible, we will be able to draw on that when we are in need of a word from God. If we neglected our Bible reading and did other things, we can expect to have nothing to pull from.

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Ti 2:15)

When we stand before God and receive reward for the works that we have done for Him, will we stand ashamed before Him because we did not study His word? Will we have to bow our heads in shame because we fell into the sea of despair instead of using our life raft, the word of God?

William Cowper saw this in his own life, I believe. I do not know whether his temporary madness was a mind game from the devil or an illness. I could not tell whether or not it was before his salvation or after. This is not clear in the history I have read. There may be some other accounts out there detailing this but I have not read it. However, I do know that his Heavenly Father reached down to him in his despair and lifted him. I do know that from that point on, William went on to write one of the most beautiful hymns about the blood of his Saviour. He totally grasped salvation and penned a clear message of how the Saviour paid dearly with His own blood the punishment for sin we so deserved.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood shall never lose its power
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.

Despite our sin, the born-again believer can say the power of Christ’s blood will take us home and one day, we will no longer struggle with sin. Praise God! What do you have on your spiritual shelves to draw upon when you are in need? Do you have the latest movie details, lyrics to your favorite song, or the precious word of God to direct and guide you? God’s Word promises five things:

  1. LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. (Psa 119:89): We do not have to doubt its origin, preservation or authenticity because God’s word was and is forever settled in Heaven. We have God’s word to turn to – He has promised us.
  2. NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psa 119:105): God’s word will keep us from stumbling spiritually because it will direct us.
  3. Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it. (Psa 119:140): God’s word is pure – there is nothing in it which is polluted or corrupt.
  4. Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever. (Psa 119:160): God’s word is true from the beginning of time and forever. There are no lies in it, no contradictions, and no faux pas! We can count on it to give us what we need, when we need it.
  5. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (Joh 17:17): God’s word will set us apart from the spiritually malnourished believer as well as the unbeliever.

In the mean time, what kind of FIFO system do you have controlling your spiritual inventory today?