We don’t often hear our political leaders referencing God or the Bible. But in the wake of the recent natural disaster in his country, that’s exactly what His Majesty, King Tupou VI did. In an address to the nation, King Tupou urged his people to stay strong in their faith, and to trust that Jesus was near in their time of distress.
He began the speech by quoting Psalm 36:5-7, saying that even though Tonga had been left vulnerable to a natural disaster, the people could stand renewed in God because He is their refuge and strength.
The tsunami that resulted from the eruption of the Hunga volcano caused extensive damage to Tonga, destroying homes and much of the island’s infrastructure. However, King Tupou VI continued to point his people to God, reminding them that He is the one ultimately in control of nature.
Many challenges lay ahead to rebuild this tiny island nation, but King Tupou remains steadfast in his faith. “It’s not about how wealthy someone might be or about foreign aid,” he said. “It’s about the heart of the people. Survival and our faith in God shows us how people love and help one another.”
King Tupou acknowledged how grateful he is for the relief effort that is currently under way, and thanked everyone for their support. He also commended the local Tongan media for reporting on the solidarity of the people in response to the emergency they are facing.
To conclude his speech, the King encouraged everyone with the words from a hymn from the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga.
The Crowning glory of our Lord,
The Lord of Heaven, since the beginning
When His people are in trouble,
He stands as a Comforter to them all.
May the good Lord keep you,
Do not have any doubts.
The time of your sunset draws near,
But whilst you are walking in the valley,
He is truly closer than ever before.
Can you imagine a world where all our politicians spoke like this? What an encouragement and a privilege to hear the words of King Tupou. As Christians, we stand alongside him and the people of Tonga for the restoration and recovery of their beautiful nation.
Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
your justice like the great deep.
You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.