Popular in Sunday School classes, worship services, revival meetings and other gatherings of the church, this hymn was inspired in 1886 when the composer of the music, Daniel B. Towner (1850-1919), was the music leader during one of Dwight L. Moody’s famous revivals. Towner provided the following account cited by Moody’s musical partner, Ira D. Sankey, in his biography, My Life and the Story of the Gospel Hymns: “One night a young man rose in a testimony meeting and said, ‘I am not quite sure—but I am going to trust, and I am going to obey.’ I just jotted that sentence down, and sent it with a little story to the Rev. J. H. Sammis, a Presbyterian minister. He wrote the hymn, and the tune was born.” Sammis is said to have composed the lines of the refrain upon receiving the letter: “Trust and obey—for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”1
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 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.
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.