what children’s songs can teach us about joy


Let me first apologize for the overuse of children’s songs as references on this little blog. I tend to listen to or sing a lot of little people tunes right now because that’s our jam and the season of life I’m in. A lot of these songs I teach Jesse are the ones I was taught growing up in church. They may be simple songs, but a lot of them are more profound than I first realized. Oh, and they are short so my brain can retain and retrieve as needed (bonus).

‘Trust and Obey’ is one I like because of the sing song rhyming melody. It goes: “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey” (emphasis mine). I’m learning through songs like this that trust and obedience to the Lord are essential for sustainable joy. Do I really trust Him the way I say I do? Oh to have the faith of a child. My son just assumes I’ll take care of him (which I will) because he trusts me. He doesn’t ever worry or wring his hands or live in fear – he simply trusts.

Is it really that easy? I think grown-ups have a few hurdles to overcome because if you have lived in this world long enough you’ve been burned once or twice, experiencing disappointment and sadness. We become jaded because the world is not as it should be. Sinful people living in a world with sinful people sometimes results in distrust and heartache. But our God is not flawed like we are.

He is perfect in every way: reliable, faithful, all wise, loving and true. He calls me to love and obey Him. So why are these the things Jesus places importance on? His own words found in the Book of John are, “If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in His love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:11 NIV).

            Christ commands us to love and obey Him because Jesus is the very best for us. It is to glorify Himself and for our own good. So when you and I live our lives learning to trust God, walking in obedience with our every day we start to see God at work in His faithfulness. Love begins to bloom and stretch out. Obedience develops into a pattern and we see that when we follow what is right and good our joy is solid.

When I go back to Scripture I re-learn what alone satisfies my soul. It is nothing this world has to offer. So when Jesse recognizes the ‘Trust and Obey’ song that comes on in the car I’ll keep singing it for him. Control creates stress, which kills joy. Simple trust and obedience in Jesus is the heart message I want him to capture. It’s what this grown-up needs too.

Prayer to trust and obey :

I am loved immeasurably by Christ my Lord.

Help me to cleave to, trust in, rely on and have faith in You Mighty King!

If my deepest joy comes from a deep trust of You then fix my eyes on You alone in the good and bad.

I will keep my hands open, palms up in continual trust of my Savior because I love You.



Grace upon grace,


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