On July 30, 1956, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a law to change the official motto of the United States to “In God We Trust”. This new law mandated the inclusion of the words “under God” into the pledge of allegiance, and required the new motto to be printed on all American paper currency. In changing from the previous motto, “E Pluribus Unum” or ‘from many, one’, the phrase “In God we trust” was not by any means a novelty. In fact, the phrase has been used in an official capacity from at least the time of the civil war when it was placed on U.S. coins. So how did this trust develop? And in God do we trust today?
Our nation’s founding is directly associated with pursuing the freedom to worship God freely. Throughout America’s history we have seen His hand of blessing over the United States. Jeremiah 17:7-8 says “Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green”. In 1944, the world placed their confidence in the U.S. dollar, as 44 allied countries chose to make it the global reserve currency. This is an arrangement of trust that has blessed the country innumerably and has allowed the country to flourish.
However, as we look to the news cycle today and see the original fabric of our nation unraveling in many ways, we must remember to look to the Lord and place our trust in Him and not in anything of this world, and certainly not in ourselves. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6). We know that God is faithful and His promises are guaranteed and true. We know His greatest promise has been completed in the greatest transaction in all of history. Christ’s death was payment for our debts (sins, yours, and mine), but his resurrection secured the receipt and our justification before a holy God.
Eisenhower grew up in a Christian home, but reportedly left his family’s faith when he left to the army. Having served a crucial role in WWII as supreme commander of the Allied forces in western Europe, the Lord was using him for His glory. Throughout all of his achievements on the battlefield and later in politics, he clearly found the need to trust in God. On February 1, 1953, Dwight D. Eisenhower was baptized in a private ceremony, just ten days after being sworn into the office of President of the United States.
As nations rise and fall, and markets crest and fade, we can trust in our Lord, looking to the day when He will take up the church to be with Christ. This is the trust we must come back to.
“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.” Psalm 37:5