Less than one year after he wrote his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul finds himself under attack from false teachers in Corinth who ignored his warnings about false teaching. The apostle, presurred into defending his character does so in this epistle meant to reinforce his apostolic authority.
“1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God in Corinth, together with all the saints throughout Achaia: 2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 1:1-2)
In his greetings Paul identifies himself as an apostle of Jesus Christ and servant of God almighty. He also mentions Timothy, a younger fellow servant and missionary who had delivered Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth.
Paul clearly includes Timothy and himself as part of the same church as that of his audience.
“3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 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.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
The comfort described here by Paul includes encouragement, exhortation and prayer to be shared among church members during gatherings. The same comfort brought on by God Himself was to be passed on by those blessed with divine peace onto those in need.
“5 For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 6 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. 7 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 1:5-7)
Because Christ died on the cross for our sins, His suffering is passed on to believers through humility and sacrifice. Paul also mentions the fact his own distress should be considered a blessing.
Because of his suffering, the believers in Corinth could benefit from the patience and endurance displayed by the apostle and his fellow servants currently under attack by the enemy in Ephesus. Paul’s wish for the Corinthians was they should not only be strengthened by the tribulations of others but also comforted, through faith in Jesus Christ knowing God’s blessings are upon those who believe.
8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life.” (2 Corinthians 1:7-8)
Paul felt important for believers in Corinth to be informed about his trials and suffering while he ministered in Ephesus, the capital of the Roman province of Asia. The apostle describes the challenges he faced as “great” and life threatening.
The tribulations mentioned here are believed to be the result of an uproar which took place in Ephesus, and involved Demetrius, an opinionated silversmith who stood against Christianity.
The reason for the uproar sparked by Demetrius was based on greed. The silversmith had been making and selling silver statues of the pagan goddess Diana, a lucrative business deeply impacted by Paul’s mission throughout the region.
“9 Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.” (2 Corinthians 1:9-11)
Paul describes the near death experience as a blessing that reinforced his faith in Jesus Christ, and reaffirmed his mission to advance the gospel and share the good news about the son of God, his resurrection from the dead and His promised return.
The apostle also mentions the power of prayer which brings strength as we ourselves face persecution in Christ’s name. Through faith, all things are possible, including comfort in perilous times. Let us pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Paul,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre