Story behind the song - Trust and Obey

Composer John H. Sammis Writes Trust and Obey

Trust from Youth Background Image
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John H. Sammis (1846-1919), gave up his life as a businessman and part-time YMCA worker to study for the ministry. He was ordained a Presbyterian minister in 1880 and then served at several pastorates. In his later years, Sammis taught at the Bible Institute of Los Angeles.

Daniel B. Towner (1850-1919) was music director for several well-known churches and schools, including the Moody Bible Institute. He published several music books and wrote the music for many well-loved hymns, including At Calvary and Only A Sinner Saved By Grace.

In 1887, just following an evangelistic meeting held by Dwight L. Moody, a young man stood to share his story in an after-service testimony meeting. As he was speaking, it became clear to many that he knew little about the Bible or acceptable Christian doctrine. His closing lines, however, spoke volumes to seasoned and new believers alike: I'm not quite sure. But I'm going to trust, and I'm going to obey.

Daniel Towner was so struck by the power of those simple words that he quickly jotted them down, then delivered them to John Sammis, who developed the lyrics to Trust and Obey. Towner composed the music and the song quickly became a favorite. It remains popular with hymn singers today.


Refrain:

Trust and obey, for there's no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

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.

Refrain

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.

Refrain

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.

Refrain

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.

Refrain

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.

Refrain

Lord Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in You.” (Psalm 84:11-12)

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Written by: Connie Ruth Christiansen

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