Thursday, March 20

by Mary Parrish Coley

He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in him.  –Isaiah 56:3

Trust, obedience and peace seem to go hand in hand in my life. For many years I participated in a community Bible study, and occasionally we sang an old hymn titled “Trust and Obey.” I loved the very simple but wise lyrics. They reminded me just how easy it can be to obtain a measure of peace when I’m willing to trust God and obey his word.

When I give my worries and concerns to God in prayer, it’s a great relief to know that God, who loves us and has everyone’s best interest at heart, is present and at work in this world. As well, I believe there is power in naming the worry or concern and being honest with God. He wants me to engage with him and my relationship with him is strengthened every time I approach him. Finally, when I take the time to read God’s word, I almost always find some words of comfort or wisdom that encourage and inspire me. God provides peace of mind and heart as only he can because he knows me so well.

Why then do I so often continue to worry? Or worse yet, why do I not take these matters that so fill my day and thoughts to God more frequently? I wonder if we Americans, who are constantly striving for better and more, have somehow been programmed over the years to think everything is within our grasp if we work hard enough. It’s simply not within my nature to pass along a concern or a task to another and relinquish all responsibility. This ingrained behavior appears to make me my own worst enemy when it comes to seeking peace and contentment in my life.

I know now that my most fervent prayer should be that God remove any thought of mine to “assist” him in working through my worries and concerns and instead seek to live within his will for my life. As verse three of the following hymn relates, his joy, favor and love bless those who trust and obey.

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: Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
    to be happy in Jesus, but to 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 blest 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)

Lift in prayer today
Young adults participating in the Urban Plunge mission trip