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? 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.