Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
We often sing the words to this familiar Christian hymn without giving them much thought. These precious words say exactly what the Bible teaches. The secret of spiritual happiness and blessing is simply trusting and obeying the Lord.
Trusting God in Difficult Times
When I hear the words trust and obey my mind goes back 30 years. As a young married couple, my husband and I found out that we were expecting our first child. When our daughter Kelsie was born we were overjoyed at how beautiful this precious little girl was. At 2 months Kelsie became very sick and we rushed her to the hospital to learn that she had contracted viral meningitis. She was one sick little baby, but we put our trust in God and, along with many others, prayed her through her illness and life went on.
We learned that we were expecting again when Kelsie was 4 months old. Life as we knew it changed when our son, Ryan, came into the world. Born with a rare medical condition, Ryan spent his first three weeks in the hospital. Later we found an outstanding doctor in Cincinnati (thanks to our dear friend Joyce Tucker) who agreed to take charge of Ryan’s health even though the doctor was 72 years old and had decided not to take on additional cases. Faithful Christians around the world joined us in praying for Ryan. He had his first surgery at 8 months and 26 more by the time he turned 12 years old. Ryan has been in and out of the hospital most of his life and continues to get serious infections.
Our daughter Kelsie deals with epilepsy and traumatic brain injury due to a seizure in a swimming pool. Our faith and trust in God have helped both of our kids as they continue to deal with medical issues. We’ve learned that when we put our trust in God and obey his Word, he is there to walk us through each day. He comforts us when we don’t think we can go on. He lets us know that he is always there. He is our comforter, our protector, our hiding place, and our healer through it all.
Obeying God in Dark Times
There was a time during those difficult years when I became very angry with God. I needed someone to blame. Life was not supposed to be this way. Why did these things happen to our children? One night while sitting in the hospital room where we spent 4 ½ months with Ryan, I took out my Bible and opened it to Psalm 40:1-3. “I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, And heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth—Praise to our God; Many will see itand fear, And will trust in the Lord” (New King James Version).
That is what God did for me that day. Did I struggle with trust and obedience during that period of my life? Indeed I did, and there are days when I still do. But God continues to put a new song in my heart through each struggle. He has set my feet on solid ground more than once. Have I failed him and let him down? Indeed I have, but each time I run back into his caring arms where I feel his love.
Do We Trust Enough to Obey?
Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” This verse sums up what the Bible teaches on trust. We place our trust in God and not ourselves, just as David did.
David was a “man after God’s own heart.” He loved what God loved. And he was burdened by what burdened God. David’s main priority was to live his life for God. But David didn’t just talk about living his life for God; he put his faith into action. David sought to listen and obey. His heart was sensitive to God.
So many times he had to put his trust in God and respond obediently to what God put in front of him. We all have struggles and wonder where God is taking us. We, like David, have our own giants to face each day. David recalled the times God delivered him from his challenges. In every instance God gave him what he needed to conquer them—like when he faced one of his greatest challenges, a super-sized soldier named Goliath.
At different points in our lives each of us will face what seem to be giant trials and difficulties. We must be prepared to respond to them. The secret of David’s success was his ability to trust and obey God. If he would have looked only at the overwhelming circumstances facing him, he may have turned and run away like the rest of the Israelites. David’s faith saw what the rest of Israel’s army did not see.
David’s first thought was to please God. Ours should be the same. David showed patience, obedience, and reverence for God throughout his life. He was careful to follow God’s commands and carry through on the promises he made. David asked God for guidance daily, as should we.
We should go to God in prayer daily no matter the situation. We should fear and honor God and always trust in him, obeying him wholeheartedly. We should be careful about what we promise and do what we say we will do. We should care more about what God thinks and not so much about what others think. Honoring, trusting, and obeying God should be our first resolve, not our last resort.
God strengthens our faith in times of trial. Without a strong faith we easily stumble and fall. Whatever giants you are facing, remember that God loves you. When you put your trust in him he will help you through it all. Yes, you may go through times of failure and hurt. Life might not always turn out the way you plan. Even so, as you trust and obey him, God will be glorified and you will be blessed.
Cindy Hill Tuttle loves writing her morning devotions and sharing them with others. Cindy’s husband, Rob, serves Lowell Christian Church in Lowell, Ohio.