Trust and Obey
The title expression was used in a
testimony meeting, following an evangelistic crusade
in Brockton, Massachusetts, by Dwight L. Moody. A young man
stood to speak, and it soon became clear he knew little
Christian doctrine. But he finished by saying, “I’m not
quite sure—but I’m going to trust, and I’m going to obey.”
Daniel Towner, who was in the meeting, jotted down the
words, and gave them to John Sammis, who developed the
lyrics from them.
A businessman and YMCA worker in Logansport, Indiana,
John Henry Sammis (1846-1919) attended McCormick and Lane
Theological Seminaries, was ordained a Presbyterian
minister in 1880.
He served in Glidden, Iowa;
Indianapolis, Indiana; Grandhaven, Michigan, Red
Wing, Minnesota; and Sullivan, Indiana. For the
remainder of his career, he taught at the Bible Institute
of Los Angeles.
Daniel Brink Towner (1850-1919) studied
music under his father (a well known singer and teacher in his own
right), John Howard, George Root, and James Webb. He was music
director at the Centenary Methodist Church in Binghamton, New
York (1870-1882); the York Street Methodist Episcopal Church,
Cincinnati, Ohio (1882-1884); the Union Methodist Episcopal
Church, Covington, Kentucky (1884-1885); and the Moody Bible
Institute, Chicago, Illinois (1893-1919). The American
Temperance University in Harriman, Tennessee, awarded Towner a
Doctorate of Music in 1900.
Lyrics by John Sammis
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
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.