2 CORINTHIANS 1
1 1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy, our brother, to the church of God in Corinth, and to all the saints in the whole of Achaia. 2 May you receive grace and peace from God our Father and from Christ Jesus, the Lord.
Blessed be God, the source of all comfort
• 3 Blessed be God, the Father of Christ Jesus, our Lord, the all-merciful Father and the God of all comfort! 4 He encourages us in all our trials, so that we may also encourage those in any trial, with the same comfort that we receive from God.
5 For whenever the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so, through Christ, a great comfort also overflows. 6 So, if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we receive comfort it is also for you. You may experience the same comfort when you come to endure the same sufferings we endure. 7 Our hope for you is most firm; just as you share in our sufferings, so shall you also share in our consolation.
8 Brothers and sisters, we want you to know some of the trials we experienced in the province of Asia. We were crushed; it was too much; it was more than we could bear and we had already lost all hope of coming through alive. 9 We felt branded for death, but this happened that we might no longer rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He freed us from such a deadly peril and will continue to do so. We trust he will continue protecting us, 11 but you must help us with your prayers. When such a favor is obtained by the intercession of many, so will there be many to give thanks to God on our behalf.
The plans of Paul
• 12 There is something we are proud of: our conscience tells us that we have lived in this world with the openness and sincerity that comes from God. We have been guided, not by human motives, but by the grace of God, especially in relation to you. 13 There were no hidden intentions in my letter, but only what you can read and understand. 14 I trust that what you now only partly realize, you will come to understand fully, and so be proud of us, as we shall also be proud of you on the Day of the Lord Jesus.
15 With this assurance, I wanted to go and visit you first, and this would have been a double blessing for you. 16 And from there I thought of going to Macedonia and then, from Macedonia, of coming back to you, that you might send me on my way to Judea. 17 Have I planned this without thinking at all? Or do I change my decisions on the spur of the moment, so that I am between No and Yes?
18 God knows that our dealing with you is not Yes and No, 19 just as the Son of God, Christ Jesus, whom we—Silvanus, Timothy and I—preach to you, was not Yes and No; with him it was simply Yes. 20 In him all the promises of God have come to be a Yes, and we also say in his name: Amen! giving thanks to God. 21 God himself has anointed us and strengthens us with you to serve Christ; 22 he has marked us with his own seal in a first outpouring of the Spirit in our hearts.
Paul refers to a scandal
• 23 God knows, and I swear to you by my own life, that if I did not return to Corinth, it was because I wanted to spare you. 24 I do not wish to lord it over your faith, but to contribute to your happiness; for regarding faith, you already stand firm.