2 Corinthians 1

This devotional is written by Alex Perkin.

2 Corinthians 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 his holy people throughout Achaia:

2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Praise to the God of all comfort 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 receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 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.

8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt we had received 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 again. 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 favour granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

Paul's change of plans 12 Now this is our boast: our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God's grace. 13 For we do not write to you anything you cannot read or understand. And I hope that, 14 as you have understood us in part, you will come to understand fully that you can boast of us just as we will boast of you in the day of the Lord Jesus.

15 Because I was confident of this, I wanted to visit you first so that you might benefit twice. 16 I wanted to visit you on my way to Macedonia and to come back to you from Macedonia, and then to let you send me on my way to Judea. 17 Was I fickle when I intended to do this? Or do I make my plans in a worldly manner so that in the same breath I say both 'Yes, yes' and 'No, no'?

18 But as surely as God is faithful, our message to you is not 'Yes' and 'No'. 19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us - by me, Silas and Timothy - was not 'Yes' and 'No', but in him it has always been 'Yes'. 20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are 'Yes' in Christ. And so through him the 'Amen' is spoken by us to the glory of God. 21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

23 I call God as my witness - and I stake my life on it - that it was in order to spare you that I did not return to Corinth. 24 Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, because it is by faith you stand firm.


Corinth was the capital city of a Roman province in southern Greece. The city was a centre of wealth and thriving commerce, variety of religions and culture. Remind you of anywhere?

On his travels Paul established a church in Corinth. He wrote his first letter to them addressing concerns about how to live a Christian life in the city and reconciling Christian faith with common culture. This second letter came in a difficult period in his relationship with that church. He seeks to repair broken relationships and navigate the ups and downs of life as God's kingdom breaks through. His main message is this: God will comfort us in all our troubles, and we can offer this comfort to each other (verse 4)

It's often said that there's two things in life you can be certain of: death and taxes. Trouble and suffering could equally be added to the list. Jesus' promise to us is that he will be with us in our troubles.

Paul is under great pressure, beyond his ability to endure, to the point he despaired of life itself (verse 8). Yet, in his troubles, he has been so sustained and strengthened by the hand of God to the point that he has not only been able to endure it but derive blessings from it and extend those blessings to others in their hour of trouble.

Whatever you're currently going through, God is with you and he wants to comfort you. There is no trial nor tribulation too great for him. Though we are weak we live in God's power.

So as you read this, turn your attention towards Jesus. Draw near in faith. May the God of all comfort, comfort us in all our troubles. And in doing so, Lord, comfort us so we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from you. Amen.

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