“You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder” (James 2:19).
There is not one demon who does not know that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.
There is not one demon who does not know that God is the creator of the world.
There is not one demon who does not know that Jesus will come again to judge the world.
Satan and his demons know who Jesus is.
Knowing Jesus cannot save. It is in receiving and believing in Jesus as Lord and Savior that saves.
So, then, what is the difference between knowing and believing?
In modern day English, belief has a different meaning than what it did to the Jews during the days of Jesus. One could not believe something without acting and living out that belief. If one’s actions did not demonstrate the belief, it was the same as unbelief. If you believe it, you live it.
Satan and his demons know who Jesus is. But satan and his demons would never put their trust and reliance on Jesus.
That’s the difference between knowing and believing.
I am grateful that God does not expect us to be perfect in our obedience and reliance. Though we are not expected to be perfect in obedience and reliance on Jesus, we are, nevertheless, called to obey and trust.
The hymn writer has it right. Trust and obey, for there is no way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.