1Paul, 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:2Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Praise to the God of All Comfort
3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.5For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.6If 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.7And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.8We 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.9Indeed, 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.10He 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,11as 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.
Paul’s Change of Plans
12Now 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.13For we do not write you anything you cannot read or understand. And I hope that,14as 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.15Because I was confident of this, I wanted to visit you first so that you might benefit twice.16I wanted to visit you on my way to Macedonia and to come back to you from Macedonia, and then to have you send me on my way to Judea.17Was 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”?18But as surely as God is faithful, our message to you is not “Yes” and “No.”19For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me and Silas and Timothy—was not “Yes” and “No,” but in him it has always been “Yes.”20For 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.21Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us,22set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.23I 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.24Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, because it is by faith you stand firm.
3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, (Ro 15:5; Ro 15:6; Eph 1:3; 1Pe 1:3)4who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (Isa 51:12; Isa 66:13)5For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. (2Co 4:10; Php 3:10; Col 1:24)6If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. (2Co 4:15; 2Co 12:15; Eph 3:13; 2Ti 2:10)7Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort. (Ro 8:17)8For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. (Ac 19:23; 1Co 15:32)9Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. (Ps 2:12; Ps 25:2; Ps 26:1; Lu 18:9; 2Co 4:14)10He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. (Ro 15:31; 1Ti 4:10)11You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many. (Ac 12:5; Ro 15:30; 2Co 4:15; 2Co 9:11; Php 1:19; Phm 1:22)
Paul’s Change of Plans
12For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you. (Ac 23:1; 1Co 2:4; 1Co 2:13; 2Co 2:17; 2Co 4:2; 1Th 2:10)13For we are not writing to you anything other than what you read and understand and I hope you will fully understand—14just as you did partially understand us—that on the day of our Lord Jesus you will boast of us as we will boast of you. (1Co 1:8; 1Co 9:15; 2Co 2:5; 2Co 5:12; 2Co 9:3; Php 2:16; Php 4:1; 1Th 2:19)15Because I was sure of this, I wanted to come to you first, so that you might have a second experience of grace. (Ac 18:1; Ro 1:11; 1Co 4:19)16I wanted to visit you on my way to Macedonia, and to come back to you from Macedonia and have you send me on my way to Judea. (Ac 19:21; 1Co 16:5)17Was I vacillating when I wanted to do this? Do I make my plans according to the flesh, ready to say “Yes, yes” and “No, no” at the same time? (2Co 10:2)18As surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been Yes and No. (1Co 1:9; 2Co 2:17)19For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not Yes and No, but in him it is always Yes. (Mt 14:33; Ac 15:22; Heb 13:8)20For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. (Ro 15:8; 1Co 14:16; Heb 10:23; Re 3:14)21And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, (1Jo 2:20; 1Jo 2:27)22and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. (Ro 8:16; 2Co 5:5; Eph 1:13; Eph 1:14; Eph 4:30)23But I call God to witness against me—it was to spare you that I refrained from coming again to Corinth. (Ro 1:9; 1Co 4:21; 2Co 2:1; 2Co 2:3; Ga 1:20)24Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, for you stand firm in your faith. (Mt 23:8; Ro 11:20; 1Co 15:1; 2Co 4:5; 1Pe 5:3)