“Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.” – Proverbs 30:5-6
Though we may sometimes doubt the truthfulness of God’s Word, question His motives in decreeing it, or lack an understanding of how it could come to pass, we will, in the end, see one of two things play out: 1) We will either trust in His Word and find that it, even when tested, always “proves true” and thus reap the blessings of it as we go through life or 2) intentionally keep its vitality at a distance as we search for “enough proof” of its credibility and “enough motivation” before trusting it, only to find that it ultimately “proves true”, and had we only trusted it sooner, we would have been benefiting from its power instead of reaping the consequences of denying it. As it is recorded in Isaiah, God says that His Word “shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it” (Isa 55:11, ESV).
God will reveal to us and those around us, whether it be in this life or in eternity, that anything we added to His Word to change the truth and goodness of what He has spoken are falsehoods. He will reveal to us that had we only trusted, we would have been blessed in the way that He promised. Therefore, we should build our hope, that’s right, our hope (aka: faith), on the sure, fertile, pure, and spiritual foundation of God’s Word. We should not build our hope on the rocky, materialistic, erred, and limited foundation of human ability.
I did not grow up going to church or believing in Jesus Christ as my Lord & Savior. And by the time I trusted in Christ, alone in my bedroom late on the night of February 1, 2009, I had begun attending a church that played classic and contemporary Christian songs in worship. I was mainly exposed from that point on to contemporary and modern Christian worship music. But in my time serving on staff at a far more traditional church, I have had to literally learn hymns for the first time because that is the primary form of worship for our traditional service.
At first, I didn’t enjoy hymns compared to what I was used to. But over time, I have come to enjoy several hymns for their rich theology and tune. One of the hymns I have come to cherish is called “Trust and Obey” by John H. Sammis (1887). Take some time to reflect on what this verse and refrain are communicating (for a beautiful rendition of the whole song click here):
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.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
The truth of the matter is that we can never prove the delights and wonders that are contained in God’s love for us until we actually trust and obey, laying our life (metaphorically speaking) on the altar, when we are willing to lay it all down with and for Christ, just as He laid everything down for us. The blessings in this life and life everlasting that are to be experienced by God’s people and thus, subjectively proven, are for those who actually trust and obey.
If you have not yet experienced the love, favor, and joy in this life that comes with knowing Christ as your Lord and Savior, then perhaps you have not yet truly taken one or both of the steps of faith that we are called to do: to trust in Jesus as our risen Lord who offers forgiveness of sin and eternal life and to obey all that He has commanded of us.