2 Corinthians 1:3-5: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.
Psalm 23:4: Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
As of Monday morning, 1,013 people have died in Africa from the Ebola virus. The four West African countries in which Ebola has spread are Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and also Nigeria. It’s impossible to imagine what these people are dealing with each day, as they attempt to come to grips with the Ebola outbreak.
In 2006, I had the privilege to travel with the Senior Pastor of our church, to the West African nation of Liberia. We spent almost ten days there with a local church, joining them in worship, learning more about God, and appreciating the bond we share as human beings and followers of Christ. By the end of our time there it felt like we were leaving family. Not many days go by that I don’t pray for and think about our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, in Liberia. I feel deeply connected with the people in the church and community that we visited, as well as the entire nation of Liberia. They have endured great pain and suffering as a result of two civil wars and are now in the path of the Ebola outbreak. They need and desire our prayers.
So I ask you to pray for the people of Liberia, and also the other countries, that are trying to contain the spread of Ebola. Last night, our prayer group, prayed for God to show compassion and mercy upon the people in these nations and to comfort them as only God can. We prayed for God’s powerful presence to come upon them, enveloping them in God’s love and mercy.
The Apostle Paul reminds us that we serve a God who is present with us in our suffering and will comfort us in our troubles. Just as God comforts us in our troubles, we are called to provide comfort and prayers to our fellow human beings around the world that are facing trials and suffering on a scale that we can’t even begin to comprehend. 2 Corinthians 1: 5: “For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”
So let us pray with confidence for the people in Liberia and the other affected countries in Africa who need and covet our prayers. And may we also give praise to “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort” (2 Cor. 1:3). As believers, we serve a God who continues to work miracles in this world that we live in. We often don’t have enough faith to believe that God can overcome any and all of the many sufferings and trials that we face. Pray for God to bring a quick end to the spread of Ebola in Africa.
The angel Gabriel reminded Mary in Luke 1:37, “For nothing is impossible with God.” May each of us remember that as we pray for the people of Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria.