Most of us have heard and/or sung the song referred to in the title.
Original Trinity Hymnal, #700
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 the skies,
But his smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh nor 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 nor 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, and the joy he bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.
Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at his feet,
Or we will 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.
copied from opc.org
What an amazing thing if we could always be in this space in our hearts. Our lives are filled with challenges that can steal our joy if we allow them to.
Let us examine what it means to be so connected to the Lord that nothing can steal our joy.
First we need to discuss the difference between joy and happiness. Happiness is that feeling we get when tangible things go our way. It is fully dependent on circumstances. Joy, on the other hand is a gift from God that we receive when we have deep sweet fellowship with the Lord. It is a by product of our relationship with God. It is not dependent on circumstances and it’s source is from the Lord. We can have the Joy of the Lord in our hearts even when terrible things have happened.
How is this possible?!?
Read through the song again… When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word… It seems that we need to walk with the Lord. Spend time with Him. Talk to Him. Listen to Him. (Yes, God speaks to us today in many ways.) The Holy Spirit was sent to us to comfort, teach and lead us into all truth. How can He do all of those things if He does not speak into our lives in the way God designed us each individually to learn? God is not just a god that we send up petitions to. He is The one and only Living God who interacts with us when we are willing to open our hearts to receive from Him. His Spirit indwells those of us who have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. When we spend time communing with the Lord, reading in His word, and interacting with Him, we begin to fall in love with Him in a deep passionate response to His overwhelming love for us. We begin to learn to trust Him implicitly with each part of our lives that we invite Him into. He is a gentleman. We woos us. He will never force us. We must invite Him because He will never violate our will. As we learn to trust Him more and more, He teaches us comforts us and guides us through each part of life in all its twists and turns. We begin to grow and truly mature spiritually. The by product is a joy that no one can take from us. I must give a caution here though. We can have the joy of the Lord in our hearts and then lose it by giving it away, allowing our eyes to turn away from Jesus to turn to our circumstances. Nothing and no one can steal our joy. But, we can give it away. I repeated it because it is an important concept to understand. If your eyes are on the Lord, circumstances will not diminish your joy.
So what are the consequences of walking with the Lord, remaining in fellowship with Him and keeping our eyes on Him?
- We learn to trust Him.
- We learn who He really is.
- We fall in love with the creator of the universe.
- He welcomes us into fellowship with Him.
- He shines His light on our path.
- He remains with us at all times.
- His joy pushes back all shadows and distress.
- He helps us carry our burdens, losses, griefs, everything that weighs us down.
- Fear cannot overwhelm us.
- There are so many benefits that they cannot all be named here. I think you can list a few yourself from your experience with God.
Since there are so many benefits to walking with God and remaining in His word (hiding it in our hearts), I would like to challenge each of you to go deeper in your walk with God. In my other blog posts I talk about how to do that. Remember, the creator of the universe is an interactive God who will never force you or shame you into doing anything. Seek God with all of your heart and learn His ways. You will benefit, grow and mature in ways you cannot even begin to imagine right now.
You may be a mature christian who daily spends time with the Lord. Did you know that even you can go deeper with Him? You will never be able to plumb the depths of who God is but you can dive in and enjoy deeper and deeper fellowship with Him.
I welcome your input and discussion of any topic on this site.
May God bless you richly in your search and exploration of Him!