The earthquake in Japan ... and the fruits of renewal

One of the great themes of the Bible is that, even in the most devastating and wanton of calamities, we can find a way out through prayer. We discover that God is at hand to help. He is there to love us, to comfort us, to provide for us. He is there to give our hearts courage to rebuild, to renew our lives. As ancient Hebrew psalm writer once told his countrymen and women, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."

The pure trust of this devout Hebrew Psalmist made him utterly intrepid—even in the face of disaster. "Therefore will not we fear," he wrote, "though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof." And of his beloved Jerusalem he said, "God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early" (Ps. 46:1–3,5).

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