2 Corinthians 1:3-4: “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”

Creature comforts! I’m just sipping a cup of coffee with a Chocolate Chip Cookie in my hand. If God is the source of all comfort, don’t you think He’s also in my cookie moment?

On a more serious note, moments of bereavement, disappointments, and failures put us in a position where we need God the most. Nobody’s heart likes to be broken. Moments of exasperation won’t be listed as our favorite memories. Instead we like to think of those special days, such as the day we got married, or the day we held our first child, the day we graduated; generally, we like to revisit in our thoughts the exhilarating feel of success.

Victories do taste sweet! Yet it’s not the victories that connect us to our fellow human beings. While victories set us apart, pain and discouragement draw us together, and here is why: Disappointments remind us of our humanness, our limitations. And it’s good to be reminded, because tomorrow we might run into somebody going through similar challenges, and this person might be in need of a friend. Who do you think can best relate: the hero who has just been selected for another promotion or the person who went through some heartbreaking failure? Yes, you guessed it right – the person humiliated, the person whose heart got broken can best relate.

God, the source of all comfort, is all over our brokenness. Experiencing His peace in times of unrest, experiencing solace in the face of adversity, that’s what keeps us going, and that’s what makes us a beacon of hope to other people at their lowest.

We gain a lot in our bright victories, but maybe, just maybe we gain more in our crushing failures. I don’t say that lightly. The cry of despair is all over the world, the pain of unjust suffering especially: whether it’s in countless wars or on a much smaller scale, in animosities between neighbors. The theme song of “The Last of the Mohicans” expresses some of that excruciating pain of unjust suffering. The fact that pain found a voice in a song to me is the beginning of hope. When pain cries out, someone hears. Certainly God does, but maybe also a fellow human being does, and that is like light cutting through bleak darkness.

Who knows – you may be someone’s encouragement today without realizing it. Hope can be contagious that way. And hope that’s contagious – I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that!

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