In Whom We Trust

             Do you have any pocket change? It wouldn’t be a surprise if you didn’t! More and more people are choosing other means to pay their bills or everyday purchases. However, we are not analyzing whether or not people use currency or credit. We are not interested in the designs on paper money or coins. We want to think about the message found on money: “In God We Trust.”

             Though “In God We Trust” is the official motto for the United States, it is far from how the majority choose to live their lives? Stated in other words, the LORD God is not the foundation for most people. Over the years, the phrase has met with hostility. So much so that lawsuits have been brought before the courts. Likewise, the words “under God” in the “Pledge of Allegiance” have met similar legal actions.

             No matter where someone stands on both phrases, there is an underlining dilemma that can sum up the real issue. One word—authority! Submission, outside of selfish motivation, is an intense struggle. Many that take offense or have grievances over the wording can feel that they are being oppressed. The idea of servitude to an omnipotent being frightens people. “Am I not allowed to do what I want when I want?”

             Submitting to the highest authority has been around since the beginning of creation. So has the idea of free will. God commanded man, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that eat from it you will surely die” (Gen. 2:16f). Man had a choice. He could obey and live or defy God’s command and suffer the consequences. Eventually, he would choose to; succumb to his desires, which brought about sin and death.

             Speaking of free will: the article’s title can invite introspection. We should constantly be asking, “In whom do I trust?” If we are capable of being honest, then we can provide an answer to this question. Some trust in God while others place their faith in some other “being.” Throughout history, people had their hope in earthly things. One example of this is the buried treasures of the Pharaohs of Egypt. King Tut’s tomb showed that his treasures did not follow him into the afterlife. The words Paul wrote are true. “For we brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either” (1 Tim. 6:7). Sadly, many hope and passionately testify with baseless claims that nothing exists outside this life. We will return to that thought process momentarily.

             The Scriptures are bountiful in accentuating trust in the LORD. Solomon said, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding” (Prov. 3:5). Even the wisest person of his time recognized that trusting only in himself was foolish. He said of himself, “All that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor and this was my reward for all my labor…behold all was vanity” (Ecc. 2:10f). Solomon came to realize, “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person” (Ecc. 12:13).

             So, trust in God, got it! Simple enough, or is it? If you are reading this and call yourself a believer, how often do you proclaim Christ? Do your thoughts, words, and actions reveal that you’re a faithful Christian? Many claim to wear the label “Christian,” but their lives say otherwise. These are people who may be showing up at services and Bible studies, but outside the building their lives do not present Christ. Jesus said, “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 10:32f). The words of Christ are always sufficient. Yet, recall what Peter wrote, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (1 Pet. 2:9f). Did you catch the command? Do you understand what is required of everyone who says they trust in God? This isn’t optional. All who wear the name “Christian” are to tell others about Him. Not just the person who gets up in the pulpit or teaches a class. Everyone!

             Earlier, it was mentioned that many don’t subscribe to trusting in God. We could spend forever until we are blue in the face trying to plead our case. However, the Bible is repleted with examples of people failing to trust in the LORD (e.g., Israel’s wandering in the wilderness). Don’t get me wrong, we do everything we can to share the Gospel in love, but the onus is on each person to choose to believe or not. It hurts to see that someone fails to acknowledge the LORD. It grieves God. Someone once said, “You can have an answer to every question, and they still wouldn’t believe.” Sometimes even the most logical argument will not convince someone who is bound and determined to refuse to trust in an authority beyond their control. The power of a self-will-run riot has destroyed so many. May you not be one.  

             And so, the next time you happen to have some loose change or paper money, think about what is engraved. Is “In God We Trust” match up with our lifestyle? If it doesn’t, then we better change!