Perhaps you are familiar with the term “consolation prize,” which usually refers to a prize of minor or lesser value than first prize. The consolation prize is given to the losers in a competition—the runner-ups who finished behind the winner. The grand prize winner receives an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii; the consolation prize for the runner-up is a toaster.
Today I want to encourage you with another kind of consolation prize, one which is given to the people of God, to every last one of them . . . including you!
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 have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
(2 Corinthians 1:3-7)
Take just a cursory glance through the passage above and one word jumps off the page: COMFORT! A word that is synonymous with “comfort” is consolation, which appears in the New King James version of the Bible. It is plain to see that the Christian is given a consolation prize that is wholly other from anything in this world. It is not for the loser; it is not for the runner up; it is a gift, what I call a Cosmic Consolation, given to every Christian every moment of every day. The name of this prize is Jesus Christ!
Jesus is our Everlasting Consolation, and He gives His gift of comfort to every one of His disciples. Our Consolation comes to us in times of trouble. Our Consolation comes to us in seasons of suffering. Our Consolation comes to us in the darkness of distress. As He delivers His consolation to us—ALL OF US—we begin to grow in His grace with patient endurance that helps us get through trouble, suffering, and deep distress.
You know, another way to look at this Cosmic Consolation would be to say everyone on Team Jesus is a winner. There is no consolation prize for second place or even last place. Everyone gets this Cosmic Consolation, simply by virtue of our union with Christ.
So remember, whatever it is you are facing today . . .
- Trouble at the office
- Difficulties in your marriage
- Parenting a prodigal
- Fragile friendship
- Less than perfect health
- Financial shortfall
. . . Look to the One who is with you in all that you face, knowing this truth: greater is the power (consolation) that is in you than any power that comes up against you. In John 14:16 Jesus promised to send “another Helper,” the Holy Spirit, who will live in you and walk with you. He has never let you down in the past and He won’t start now. You have His Word on that!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!