“In God We Trust” or Do We?

“O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand, Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation. Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n rescued land Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation! Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust.’ And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!” were the words of the last stanza of a poem written by Francis Scott Key, an amateur poet and attorney at law. At the time, the United States once again found itself at odds with Great Britain and were engaged in a war that has come to be known as The War of 1812. Mr. Key and Mr. John Stuart Skinner had been commissioned by then president, James Madison, to negotiate with the British for the release of some US citizens who had been captured by the British. The negotiations took place in the Baltimore Harbor on board the British flagship. During the negotiations, Key and Skinner learned of the British plans to attack the city of Baltimore. Because of that, the British held Key and Skinner until after the attack was over. Throughout the night of September 13, 1814, Key could do nothing but watch helplessly as the British ships attacked Fort McHenry. Finally, on the morning of September 14, 1814, Francis Scott Key was able to see that the flag of the United States of America was still flying!

In that last verse, Francis Scott Key wrote, “And this be our motto, in God is our trust!” As a young nation, the United States of America, in both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, found itself outnumbered by a much superior British force that was better equipped and better trained than they were. In those early years our country could not rely upon its superior military. They could only relay upon one thing – Almighty God!

Even though Francis Scott Key said that “In God is our trust” was “our motto,” it was not until July 30, 1956, that President Dwight Eisenhower signed a law officially declaring “In God We Trust” to be the national motto of the United States of America. Dwight Eisenhower also signed a law adding the words, “under God,” to our Pledge of Allegiance. In 1954, in speaking about the adding of those words to our pledge, President Eisenhower said…

“In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America’s heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country’s most powerful resource in peace and war.”

In 1861, during the Civil War, the United States Secretary of the Treasury, Mr. Salmon Chase, instructed the director of the Philadelphia mint to prepare a motto to be placed upon the country’s currency. Secretary Chase wrote,

“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.”

The words, “In God We Trust,” were first stamped upon the two-cent coin in 1864.

However, if you were to walk into a bank today, to cash a check, you will find a sign with the initials, “FDIC,” printed on it. “FDIC” stands for “Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.” You will also, on that sign, read, “Backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government.” The FDIC was created in 1933 during the Great Depression to restore trust in the American banking system. In the years leading up to the creation of the FDIC, nearly one third of US banks failed – people lost their money!

So, even though our money says, “In God We Trust,” we are told to trust the United States Government for the worth of that money!

So, can we really say, “In God We Trust?”

If we are truly trusting God, it will show!

“Trust and obey for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus than to trust and obey!”

  • Noah trusted God…He built the Ark!
  • Abraham trusted God…He offered up Isaac!
  • Moses trusted God…He chose to “suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season!”
  • Joshua trusted God…He marched around the city of Jericho!

If you and I truly trust God it will not only be seen in our obedience to Him but it will also be seen in two areas of our lives:

“Thou wilt keep [him] in perfect peace, [whose] mind [is] stayed [on thee]: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH [is] everlasting strength:” Isaiah 26:3-4

Our trust in God will be seen through the peace in our lives. (vs. 3)

A mind “stayed” upon God will result in a mind trusting in God. A mind trusting in God will result in a mind at peace.

“Like a river, glorious is God’s perfect peace,

Over all victorious in its bright increase;

Perfect, yet it floweth fuller every day,

Perfect, yet it growth deeper all the way.

Stayed upon Christ Jesus, hearts are fully blest;

Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.”

 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly bin all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Colossians 3:16

Ladies and Gentlemen, what is your mind “stayed” upon? What do you find your mind constantly dwelling upon? Is it the Word of God or the things of this World? It should be no wonder that you are unable to enjoy the peace of God when you find yourself constantly consumed with the cares and worries of this world!

“And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,

“And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.” Mark 4:18-19

Our trust in God will be seen through the stability of our lives. (vs. 4)

Isaiah goes on to challenge his readers to trust God for in Him – and Him alone – is found everlasting strength. Literally, He is the Rock!

The Lord’s our rock, in Him we hide, A shelter in the time of storm;

Secure whatever ill betide, A shelter in the time of storm.

 Oh, Jesus is a rock in a weary land, A weary land, a weary land;

Oh, Jesus is a rock in a weary land, A shelter in the time of storm.

 A shade by day, defense by night, A shelter in the time of storm;

No fears alarm, no foes afright, A shelter in the time of storm.

The raging storms may round us beat, A shelter in the time of storm

We’ll never leave our safe retreat, A Shelter in the time of storm.

O rock divine, O refuge dear, A shelter in the time of storm;

Be Thou our helper ever near, A Shelter in the time of storm.

In a world that is only one news cycle away from utter chaos, we need stability.

  • Your pastor cannot give you stability.
  • Your spouse cannot give you stability.
  • Your employer cannot give you stability.
  • Your government cannot give you stability.
  • Your family cannot give you stability.
  • Wall Street cannot give you stability.

Recently, I received a phone call from my mother. My father, who is 79 years old, was diagnosed with bladder cancer. When I asked my mother how she was doing she responded, “God’s in control.” My father is at peace; he hasn’t gone all to pieces. Why? Because in 1969 my father accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. My mother and father are trusting God with what is a very uncertain future because they know that their eternity has been secured by Jesus Christ! How about you? – Pastor Joseph Campbell