(2 Corinthians 1:1-11) – Comforted to comfort
In the second canonical letter written to the church at Corinth, Paul highlights his relationship with the people there and reaffirms the reconciliation that has taken place between them.
Apparently, after receiving the first letter, there were still many people who were rejecting Paul’s teaching, thus causing a much-needed personal visit.
Things eventually get worked out and this letter serves as the another example to confirm that.
Paul is called by God, sent by God, and serving the church along with His disciples. Timothy is specifically mentioned here.
He’s writing to the believers. That is always important to mention for the sake of context. This is family talk
Here’s some huge things that stick out to me from this opening passage.
God has a purpose in our pain (v.4). Not only is it a personal purpose, it’s a purpose that extends blessings of comfort to others.
Sometimes we go through trials so that we can grow, other times it’s so that we can help others grow. Either way, God doesn’t waste pain.
Paul wasn’t giving up on these people (v.7). Even though there were many who resisted and doubted him, he trusted in the grace of God to refine and sanctify them, whether by sufferings or comforts.
Paul was honest about his hardship (v.9). One of the most highly lauded missionaries in human history reached a point in his life where he wondered if it was worth it to continue living.
For anyone who’s experienced deep emotional hurt and stress, maybe even contemplating quitting life altogether, this should come as an encouragement. Why?
Because God brought him through it. And He can do the same for anyone else.
Prayers really do help (v.11). Many times there are tangible steps that should be taken to provide help, but sometimes all you can do is pray.
And Paul makes it a point to note that prayer is powerful! It’s not a last resort…when thinking about comfort, prayers go a long way.
Paul believed that many people would be encouraged because of the divine favor extended to them through prayers. He was excited about what God was going to do.
My take away: Trust God’s timing and process, and know that He really is working things together for good.