31 July 2015
by Philip Layton

Sunset

Paul writes again to the Church in Corinth with a change of plans

Click here to read 2 Corinthians 1

Discussion Questions

  • Why do you think Paul wanted to inform the readers of his troubles (v 8)?

  • Do prayers cause God to act in ways that he wouldn’t otherwise (v 11)?

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Going Deeper From 'Words of Life'

Paul’s problems did not end after sending his first letter to the troubled congregation in Corinth. So he sent Titus – who soon returned, giving a heartening report of repentance. Paul then writes to the church again. This second letter to the Corinthians is more of an autobiographical letter, offering glimpses into the life of Paul found nowhere else in Scripture. It also gives the Corinthians reassurance of his continual commitment to them.

The new believers had come from a pagan background. A city where prostitutes in the temple of Aphrodite, the goddess of pleasure, would make themselves available to worshippers every day. A place where Caesar had set up the system of patronage, in order to prosper the city – which encouraged great manipulation and indulgence. These new Christians were to now put their former lives behind them and live only for Christ. It wasn’t always easy.

And extreme difficulties for them would surely come. Paul knew all about trials, suffering, persecution. Yet he tells the Corinthians that when these things arise, God would impart his comfort . In the midst of any affliction we  may experience, God is always present – and equips us to bring divine comfort to others.

Paul did suffer greatly: physically, emotionally, even spiritually. He tells the Corinthians that because of all this, and by the comfort God continually brings to him, they would in fact be the beneficiaries. Divine comfort brings revitalisation, an infusion of divine strength – enabling people to face any future trials or suffering that may come.

Sharing in Christ’s sufferings also involves experiencing his comfort. This then brings great triumph; a strong sense of security in God’s extravagant love for us all. Let us receive God’s comfort today, then be intentional in bringing a sense of divine comfort to another person who would benefit greatly.

Beverly Ivany

Tags: 2 Corinthians