Trust and Obey
Words: John H. Sammis, in Hymns Old and New (Chicago, Illinois: Fleming H. Revell, 1887).
Music: Daniel B. Towner
[In 1886] Mr. [Dwight] Moody was conducting a series of meetings in Brockton, Massachusetts, and I had the pleasure of singing for him there.
One night a young man rose in a testimony and said, I am not quite sure…but I am going to trust, and I am going to obey. I just jotted that sentence down, and sent it with the little story to the Rev. J. H. Sammis, a Presbyterian minister. He wrote the hymn, and the tune was born.
– Daniel Towner
When we walk with the Lord In the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, But to trust and obey.
Not a shadow can rise, Not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, Not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.
Not a burden we bear, Not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss, Not a frown or a cross,
But is blessed if we trust and obey.
But we never can prove The delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows, For the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.
Then in fellowship sweet We will sit at His feet.
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way.
What He says we will do, Where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.
This beloved hymn has been running through my head for weeks now. We sing it often at our Ladies Book Study, and we “happened” to sing it in this past Sunday’s church service.
If you don’t know the tune, you can listen to it at this site: https://www.hymnal.net/en/hymn/h/582
Read through the words of this hymn again. They offer much of the peace of God’s Truth. “To be happy in Jesus,” translates, to me, the peace that He offers when we give it all to Him and rest in Him. Truth trumps feelings, in my book. But sometimes God gives us both: when we abide in His Truth, He blesses us with the feelings, the satisfaction, of His peace.
In the last verse a picture is painted of sweet fellowship in Heaven. This is common among hymns of great faith: the last verses capture the certain hope we have of walking with Jesus in Heaven.
But I think that Jesus wants us to have Heaven on Earth with Him.
Luke 17.20, 21 Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; 21 nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.” See also Matthew 12.28, Colossians 4.11, and Romans 14.17, among many others.
“What He says we will do, Where He sends we will go; Never fear, only trust and obey.”
This is something we can have right here on Earth, and it’s what Jesus always wanted for us. When we set our minds on things above (Colossians 3.2); when we take on the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2.16); when we put on the garment of praise (Isaiah 61.3); when we abide in Him (1 John 4.13, 1 John 2.27); when we lay it all on His altar (verse 4 of our hymn); then we can walk through any facet of our life here with the complete joy and peace of Jesus Himself.
I want the peace of Jesus. I imagine Jesus when He was walking here, day by day, in perfect peace with His Father. He offers us this peace: John 14.27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
So, whether we have sunshine and lemonade and roses, or whether we have cancer and fires and deteriorating relationships: “What He says we will do, Where He sends we will go; Never fear, only trust and obey.” We can walk in the light of His Word, and He will shed glory on our way.