It is believed the motto “In God We Trust” originated during the Civil War when Reverend M.R. Watkinson urged the Treasury Department to place on its currency a statement acknowledging the Almighty. On March 3, 1865, Act of Congress allowed the birth of our motto. But this motto was inconsistent from 1883 through 1938. “In 1956, the nation was at a particularly tense time in the Cold War, and the United States wanted to distinguish itself from the Soviet Union, which promoted state atheism. As a result, the 84th Congress passed a joint resolution ‘declaring IN GOD WE TRUST the national motto of the United States.’ The law was signed by President Eisenhower on July 30, 1956, and the motto was progressively added to paper money over a period from 1957 to 1966.”
Based on sheer repetition, “trust” is one of the key recurring themes in the Book of Psalms. David often repeated: “In Thee do I put my trust…” (Psalm 31:1;16:1). But, as today, many were not trusting in the Lord. David said, “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses [symbols of military might]: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God” (20:7). Many trusted in mere men. But David wrote: “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man” (118:8). Likewise, the Apostle Paul warned against putting “…trust in uncertain riches,” urging instead to trust “…in the living God…” (I Timothy 6:17).
The word “trust” means to be confident, carefree, or secure. David’s testimony was: “They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth forever” (Psalm 125:1). His testimony was that his trust in the Lord gave him victory in any situation. He wrote: “…I will not be afraid what man can do unto me” (Psalm 56:11), “He [or I] shall not be afraid of evil tidings [gossip, lies, or threats]…” (Psalm 112:7). His trust in the Lord had banished fear of these things. His confidence in the Lord produced calmness in his spirit. Therefore, he could proclaim in Psalm 5:11: “But let all those that put their trust in Thee [the Lord] rejoice; let them ever shout for joy….”
Today, instead of worrying when troubling circumstances arise, let’s choose to trust and rest in the Lord. Let’s say with David: “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him” (Psalm 28:7).
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