In God We Trust
I spent this past weekend with my parents. Subsequently, I attended their church service on Sunday. Our lesson: trust. It occurred to me that on the front of every coin was the phrase, “In God We Trust.” It also occurred to me that I’ve never really considered how powerful this message was…or where it originated so I took a quick history lesson. Perhaps you already know the story. I can assure you that there’s much more to the story than what I’ve captured here.
In God We Trust RS
On November 13, 1861 Reverend Mr. M. R. Watkinson of Ridleyville, Pennsylvania sent a letter to Salmon P. Chase, Secretary of the Treasury: 
“You are about to submit your annual report to Congress respecting the affairs of the national finances. One fact touching our currency has hitherto been seriously overlooked. I mean the recognition of the Almighty God in some form in our coins. 
You are probably a Christian. What if our Republic were now shattered beyond reconstruction? Would not the antiquaries of succeeding centuries rightly reason from our past that we were a heathen nation? What I propose is that instead of the goddess of liberty we shall have next inside the 13 stars a ring inscribed with the words ‘perpetual union’; within this ring the all seeing eye, crowned with a halo; beneath this eye the American flag, bearing in its field stars equal to the number of the States united; in the folds of the bars the words ‘God, liberty, law.’ 
This would make a beautiful coin, to which no possible citizen could object. This would relieve us from the ignominy of heathenism. This would place us openly under the Divine protection we have personally claimed. From my heart I have felt our national shame in disowning God as not the least of our present national disasters.”
Secretary Chase then submitted a letter to James Pollock, the then Director of Mint:
“No nation can be strong except in the strength of God, or safe except in His defense. The trust of our people in God should be declared on our national coins. You will cause a device to be prepared without unnecessary delay with a motto expressing in the fewest and tersest words possible this national recognition.”
James Pollock, upon receiving this letter, immediately went to work on a few designs and mottos. Then, on December 9, 1863, after reviewing Pollock’s proposals, Secretary Chase approved the present motto, “In God We Trust.” Following this approval, there was much debate (for many years) over our country’s motto…even years in which it was removed, but on May 18, 1908, President Roosevelt signed a law restoring “In God We Trust” to all of our coins (in the United States) and has since expanded beyond our currency.

All that being said, I find it interesting that our forefathers felt so strongly about their faith and trust in God that they intentionally positioned “In God We Trust” onto coins and paper that would exchange hands over the course of hundreds of years. And even though we are likely to see these words on a regular/daily basis, I sometimes wonder if we’ve simply forgotten to TRUST in God. 

What does TRUST mean, anyways? Definition.com defines trust as: reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence. Other definitions have been known to use words such as faith, belief and hope. And we do…we tend to trust a lot of people and things…
  • We trust our doctors, nurses, or medical professionals to give us sound advice as it relates to our health. 
  • We trust that fire fighters or police officers will protect us from harm. 
  • We trust that our infrastructure, our roads, our buildings, etc are structurely sound.
  • We trust that our family and friends will keep their promises and live by their word.
Unfortunately, we all know (through our own experiences) that if we put all our trust, our hope, our faith, and our beliefs into people and things that we will be severely disappointed. All things and people will eventually fail us…not necessarily on purpose, it’s just life. I’m actually one of those people that trusts very easily. The moment I meet someone (most times), they have 100% of my trust unless they prove otherwise. In several cases, it’s burned me but I keep pushing forward. I don’t want to be one of those people who can’t seem to trust anyone…it just doesn’t seem right (and I’m way too happy with life to live that way). Thankfully, there is one who will never fail us…God. Thus the reason “In God We Trust” becomes so important. But why should we trust him? 
  • Because he LOVES us. 
    • John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” That love can be found in countless stories throughout the bible but is also illustrated in our lives today. 
  • Because he is FAITHFUL to us.
    • 2 Timothy 2:13 “If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”
    • 1 Corinthians 1:9 “God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
    • Philippians 1:6 “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”
God’s love and faithfulness alone is enough to show us that we can trust him. But I also know from personal experience that fully trusting in God is enough to make anyone mad…angry…crazy! Matthew 28:20 says, “I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  Theoretically, if we trust in God and allow his work to be done, then we should have no worries and no fears. But this is most definitely easier said than done. 
Trust in Him RS
So I challenge you today (and I’m really challenging myself…these posts are as much for me as they are anyone) to really consider what it is you need…what it is you’re going through (I’ll be exploring a bit of my story in an upcoming guest post) and trust God enough to give it to him. Sometimes the greatest stories ever told are painful to read and painful to live…but if we fast-forward to the end, we’ll never fully appreciate the journey.
43 COMMENTS

    I seriously love the window picture and the quote you included with it. God has taught me recently that my journey in life and with God is not so much about the destination but about the journey itself and what he can teach me each step of the way. It really is all about trusting that he knows what’s best for me! Thanks for doing these posts – they really encourage and minister to my heart!

    Great post, I had never really looked into that, it’s nice to know how it happened. Trusting God should be one of the easiest things, but it is truly the hardest thing! He knows what we need before we need it, but still it is hard to trust. We are learning about faith in our womens Bible study at church and we came across the verse about faith as small as a mustard seed – What a concept. (Matt 17:20-21) We push and push on our mountains, but if we would just have Faith as small as a mustard seed God would move it for us. That’s small(the seed is) and very convicting!

    Ashley- this is so fitting for all the things I have going on right now. Your timing is perfect as I am always in need of reminders that I need to let it all go to him- because HE knows exactly what the plan is for us & I am NOT the one in control here.

    Lovely message Ashley! :)

    Ashley this is a beautiful post. The second photo and quote is what really hit home… Trust him? Of course I trust him… I’ve trusted him since I was a little girl… Well, then why am I so impatient? Why do I worry so? Do I really believe that what God says is really REAL? Is His will really best? Do I really believe that? oh man… I’ve got a lot of soul-correcting to do.

    I too love the window picture and loved reading the history behind the In God We Trust on the currency. I actually have never read about that before and it really blows my mind to think of how God was such a natural part of life in the foundation of this country. Not for everyone of course but, for SO many and as time has past it has become less important for this nation to remember it’s roots and now we pull away from them with all our might. In God We Trust indeed. Amen and well said my friend

    trusting.. and thanking God for what you gave in this post!

    This post is amazing. Trust in God is the key to faith.
    Thank you for delivering such a great message!

    love this… have been leaning on Isaiah 41.10 today :)

    I love both photos and the verse is one of my favs. Love that quote – perfect! I might just need you to print that one out for me – hmmmmm! Put that in our home for the kids to read every time they go upstairs and back down!

    Hugs!
    Jill

    LOVING that quarter. Dang, what lens did you use? Have you ever been to the Mint? Gotta love living in the nations capital….well….used to!

    First, Ashely, that photo is beautiful!
    Secondly, this lesson of trusting God is just what I needed to be reminded of today. I know I just have to give it to him, but it’s so HARD to get rid of the worry sometimes.

    Great shots, really like the last one.

    Wonderful post! God is always trustworthy! Lovely photos, too!

    This is a really lovely and thoughtful post. Now, just my 0.2$ as a Jew…

    The Hebrew verb ‘to trust’ or ‘to believe’ (they are the same verb) is ‘leha’amin’. The root letters (Hebrew works with three letter roots at its basis) of ‘leha’amin’ are aleph-mem-nun, also known as A, M and N. Since Hebrew doesn’t use vowels, this is the same root as a Hebrew word you will know very well: Amen.

    To say ‘amen’ is to place your trust that ‘it may be so’ and that you believe and trust the focus of your prayers and intentions. Trust is not only about abstractly believing but also about affirming and doing. Trust is not just a hypothetical but something that needs to be made concrete as our way of walking with God in the world.

    So, when I ‘trust’ God, it’s a two way street. It’s not just me passively placing my faith in Him and waiting or hoping for a certain outcome. It’s also about me affirming my belief in God and His covenant and implementing His Torah: to be like God in lovingkindness, to live the values of the Divine in our human lives, to state loudly and compassionately that God is the God of all humanity and that His tender mercies extend over all His Creation.

    For me, affirming the ideal of God and trying to live out the highest values of my religion is just as much ‘trusting’ God as it is to surrender to hope. Trust means also that God should be able to ‘trust’ us as well to live out His covenant and make the world a kinder and better place!

    And, as we say in Hebrew: amen v’amen – amen and amen :)

    Blessings,
    This Good Life

    Thanks so much for sharing these. I love these two photos and verses. :)

    just what I needed for the middle of the week! soooo glad that I found your blog. Encouraging words, words that make me think and lovely photos.. I have heard that quote before, its beautiful!

    These pictures were lovely… but the words were even better. Thank you for sharing. :)

    Marla @ http://www.blueskiesphotoblog.com

    I found you via Leigh vs Laundry. Your post are amazing! I suspect you like Leigh’s celebrations, photos, and spirit of happiness! You both have great insights, too!

    Thank you for the wonderful reminder – I needed to read your inspiring words this evening.

    Trust in Him and all is easier. I’m learning that that is so very abundantly necessary. You know they’ve been trying to amend the money to remove those references under separation of church and state banter.

    Ashley, I am not a very religious person, to say the least, but I really enjoy reading your posts. I think they are very well written and thought provoking. You really have a wonderful way of communicating.

    A really thoughtful, researched post, Ashley. I learned something for sure…and you made me think hard about a phrase I’ve taken for granted for years, if not decades: In God We Trust. Isn’t it ironic, too, that the phrase is included on all our coins? I don’t know about you, but I think I worship money and materialistic pursuits in place of God sometimes. Good for thought for sure…

    Beautiful post, love the history and the chance to challenge myself! Thank you.

    Tiffany

    Great post Ashley and always your images are beautiful!

    What an incredible word and reminder for all of us.

    Only if our nation would turn back to the Lord!!

    Thanks…

    That is a very nice macro shot! Wow! I am at this moment still contemplating about what you’ve said. Actually, it made me think. And I’ll leave it at that and be back later for an answer.

    i think i read somewhere once that we are the only country with a reference to God on our money. pretty cool!

    Seriously, I love stopping by your blog on Wednesdays when you write such meaningful posts. Once again, you outdid yourself!

    that was my favorite memory verse as a child – except we said “acknowledge him” vs “submit to him.” This version makes more sense, I like it.

    Thank you! I’ll be thinking about this post :)

    Well said, Ashley! When you realize He loves you so much, it’s that much easier to trust Him. He’s a great Daddy!
    Love the macro shot – amazing!

    Thank you for this post. His love is amazing and while it’s hard to completely let go and trust, I somehow always do.

    I find it strange and comforting at the same time that this message seems to be making its way around our country. But I guess that’s how God works, isn’t it?! I love it!

    Love the quarter photo. I have to try that when I get a chance. So clear!

    That part of the letter “From my heart I have felt our national shame in disowning God as not the least of our present national disasters.” is so applicable today! It could truly have been written yesterday.

    I’m looking forward to your guest post!! (I’ll be doing one as well. ;) )

    Great photo! This is an interesting post because I usually get mad when people put all their trust in God and refuse to do anything for themselves. Especially when they say “it’s in Gods hands now” but clearly there are things they could be doing to help themselves. Of course, sometimes it is in God’s hands. Trust is a tricky thing I guess.

    This is so uplifting Ashley! Funny how when you really need to hear something God just speaks to you in all sort of wonderful ways! Your lovely post did this for me! Thank you!!!

    P/S you even can make a quarter gorgeous!

    This is such a great post! And it really hit home with me also. Learning to FULLY trust God has been a struggle for me. But I keep trying. Day by day; hour by hour; minute by minute.

    Thanks for sharing this, Ashley. Love the photos and what you added to them.

    I love that you do these kinds of posts. It really does give me something to think about, and adds so much richness to my day. So thank you for that! I also think your last statement is really powerful. Sometimes the hardest life experiences are what we point to as the sources of strength that we draw upon later in life. God is shaping us to be like Him, and sometimes that’s painful. But, like you said, we just need to trust in His plan for us.

    Oh how glad I am that I was able to come by today and read all or your posts this week.

    I really needed this, especially the quote about trust. I do trust the Lord Almighty, but as you said, “Sometimes the greatest stories ever told are painful to read and painful to live……” That truth keeps me pressing on. May God be glorified through my story and yours.

    Bless you dear friend!!

    -p.s. When are you coming to visit Tampa? hehehe

    Love that photo of the quarter and of the window…they illustrate this post beautifully. Our nation was built on Trust in God and Christian principles and I know this is off topic, but it kills me that those same ideals that founded this country no longer have a place in mainstream society.

    I will continue to put my Trust in God. Great food for thought here, Ashley.


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