Last week, at Community Bible Study we covered Matthew 17, which ends with Peter being asked to pay the temple tax for himself and for Jesus. Do you remember how Peter was to obtain the four drachma coin? Jesus instructed Peter to go to the lake, throw out his line, and look in the mouth of the first fish he caught. Not exactly the conventional means!
But what strikes me now about this peculiar story is Peter’s implicit obedience. Some people may have blown it off as an utterly absurd recommendation. Go fishing for a drachma coin in the mouth of a fish? Right! But Matthew doesn’t indicate that this strange requirement was met with any resistance or disbelief.
If God led me to solve a problem with a never-before-known means, I hope I’d willingly and happily obey, but I’m not sure that I would. I might be apt to think, “well, that would never work.”
But that creeping reluctance isn’t at all innocuous, because trusting and obeying are interrelated. The more we trust, the more we are able to obey. And the more we obey — even if that obedience feels patently absurd like fishing for a tax payment– the more we trust.
John Sammis got it right in his much-loved hymn. Being happy in Jesus is about trusting and obeying — even when it’s hard, even when it’s weird, even if I feel silly, even if I am the only one, even if I am ridiculed, even if I am hated, even if it costs me my life. I am always, always called to trust and to obey. May I do these two things. May I be happy in Jesus.
And may you be happy in Jesus too.
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.