2 Corinthians 1:1-2
(1) From Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother. To the church of God in Corinth, together with all the holy people living throughout the Roman province of Achaia. (2) May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ bless you with grace and peace!
The God of All Comfort
2 Corinthians 1:3-7
(3) Blessed be 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 all trouble with the comfort we receive from God. (5) For just as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. (6) If we face trouble, it’s for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it’s for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. (7) And our hope for you is strong and unshaken, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
Learning to Rely on God
2 Corinthians 1:8-11
(8) My brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be unaware of the troubles we experienced in the Roman province of Asia (especially Ephesus; see Acts 19:1-20:1). We were under such great pressure, far beyond what our own strength could endure, so that we despaired of life itself. We wanted to die! (9) Yes, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But this happened to us so that we would not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. (10) He has delivered us from the danger of death, and he will deliver us again in the future. In God we have set our hope. We are convinced that he will continue to deliver us, (11) as you help us through your prayers. Then many will give thanks to God on our behalf for the gracious blessing given us in answer to the prayers of many people.
Live by the Grace of God
2 Corinthians 1:12-14
(12) Now this is our boast: our conscience testifies that we have lived in this world—and especially in our relationship with you in Corinth—with simplicity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on the world’s wisdom but on God’s grace. (13) For we do not write you anything you cannot read and understand. And it is my 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 (second coming) of our Lord Jesus.
Paul’s Travel Plans
2 Corinthians 1:15-24
(15) Because I was confident in our relationship, I wanted to visit you first in Corinth so that you could benefit twice. (16) I wanted to visit you on my way from Ephesus to the Roman province of Macedonia (see Acts 20:1-2), and to come back to you from Macedonia, and then to have you send me on my way to Judea. (17) Was I indecisive when I planned to do this? Or do I make my travel plans in a worldly manner so that in the same breath I can say both “Yes, yes” and “No, no”?
(18) But just as surely as God is faithful, our message to you has never been ‘Yes” and “No.” (19) For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was proclaimed to you by me and Silas and Timothy, was not “Yes” and “No,” but in Christ it has always been “Yes!” (20) For although God has made many promises, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him we shout “Amen” to the glorious beauty of God. (21) Now it is God who makes us both stand strong together in Christ. He has anointed us, (22) set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Holy Spirit in our hearts as a deposit—guaranteeing what is to come. (23) I call on God as my witness—and I stake my life on it—that the reason I changed my mind and decided not to travel to Corinth first was because I wanted to spare you. (24) Be assured that we do not lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, because it is by faith that you stand strong.