II Corinthians 1

Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity. Affliction to the people of God is but a pruning knife to the vine to prepare them for greater usefulness to others. One of the greatest evidences of God’s love to His own is to send them afflictions with grace to bear them.

1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia:

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

3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;

4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

6 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.

7 And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.

8 For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:

9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:

10 Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;

11 Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.

12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.

13 For we write none other things unto you, than what ye read or acknowledge; and I trust ye shall acknowledge even to the end;

14 As also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are our’s in the day of the Lord Jesus.

15 And in this confidence I was minded to come unto you before, that ye might have a second benefit;

16 And to pass by you into Macedonia, and to come again out of Macedonia unto you, and of you to be brought on my way toward Judaea.

17 When I therefore was thus minded, did I use lightness? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be yea yea, and nay nay?

18 But as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay.

19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea.

20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

21 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;

22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

23 Moreover I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth.

24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.

2 Corinthians 1:1-11 – ​Sharing Comfort in Affliction

   This was a circular letter, including in its scope all the scattered communities in the district. Grace was the usual salutation of the West, Peace of the East. Here they meet. All our mercies emanate from the Father’s heart, and all comfort comes from the Comforter. When next passing through great sorrow and trial, notice how near God comes and what He says. Try to learn His methods, to get His secret. Remember that you are being comforted in order to comfort others. God is training you to be, like Barnabas, “the son of consolation” (Acts 4:36). The gains of trial are immense, because they furnish the experience from which others may profit. Often God ministers comfort by sending a friend, 2 Corinthians 7:5-7.
   Either through persecution or through severe illness Paul had been brought to the gates of death, 2 Corinthians 1:8. His recovery was little less than a miracle, but throughout his trust never wavered. Dare to believe, like Paul, that God has delivered, doth deliver, and will deliver! Past, present, and coming deliverances blend in this sweet verse. What He hath done, He doth now, and will do. Only see to it that you have the sentence of death in yourself, and on yourself, and that you go out of yourself to God, in whom is all necessary help. In such hours we may also receive great help from the faith of our friends, 2 Corinthians 1:11. —Through the Bible Day by Day

II Corinthians 1:4—Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort.

​   Child of God, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which tries thee, as though some strange thing had happened. Rejoice, inasmuch as it is a sure sign that thou art on the right track. All the saints have gone by this road, notably the writer of this Epistle.
   Its keyword is affliction, because written amid afflictions so great that the apostle despaired of life. It is steeped in affliction, as a handkerchief with the flowing blood of a fresh wound. But in this passage the apostle has built himself a little chamber of comfort, the stones of which were quarried from the pit of his own sorrow. He blesses God, who had led him into affliction to teach him the art of comfort, that by observing how God comforted, he might become proficient in the art.
   The world is full of comfortless hearts—orphan. children crying in the night. Our God pities them, and would comfort them through thee. But ere thou undertake this lofty ministry thou must be trained, and thou must therefore pass through the very trials that they are exposed to. Now watch how God comforts thee. Keep a diary, if thou wilt, of his procedure. Ponder in thine heart the length of each splint, the folds of each bandage, the ministration of each opiate, cordial, or drug. This will have a twofold effect, in turning thy thoughts from thy miseries to thy mercies, and in taking away the sense of useless and aimless existence.
   There is evidently scope for comfort even in heaven, for it is said that God will wipe away tears from all faces. Oh thou that art sorrowful even unto death, be sure that some day the Comforter will get the victory over thy sorest griefs. —Our Daily Homily

2 Corinthians 1:12-22 – ​Sincere like His Master

   The Apostle laid great emphasis on the witness of his conscience. See Acts 23:1; 24:16. As we pass out of this life, and stand in the revealing dawn of eternity, it will be a blessed thing if we are able to say this much of ourselves. 
   Paul had thought of visiting Corinth on his way to Macedonia, and again on his return journey; but this purpose had been defeated. He was eager, however, that his friends should understand that the change was not due to vacillation on his part, for this would be unworthy of one who stood for the great certainties of the gospel.
   Christ is God’s attestation to His promises. All these have received their seal in the words, sufferings and resurrection of our Lord. In Jesus God says Yea to the yearnings and prayers of human hearts, and Amen (verily) to all the ten thousand promises of Scripture. He who rests on Christ stands in the focal point of certainty and assurance. Not one good thing shall fail him of all that has been promised.
   II Corinthians 1:21 is full of comfort. God alone can give us a settled and established position. He anoints us for service; seals us with His Spirit for safety, likeness, and authentication; and in this way gives us the earnest and foretaste of heaven, as the grapes of Eschol were the pledge and foretaste of Canaan. —Through the Bible Day by Day