This letter is from Paul, appointed by God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our dear brother Timothy. We are writing to God's church in Corinth and to all the Christians throughout Greece. a2
May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you his grace and peace.
All praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the source b of every mercy and the God who comforts us.
He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
You can be sure that the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ.
So when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your benefit and salvation! For when God comforts us, it is so that we, in turn, can be an encouragement to you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer.
We are confident that as you share in suffering, you will also share God's comfort.
I think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, c about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and completely overwhelmed, and we thought we would never live through it.
In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we learned not to rely on ourselves, but on God who can raise the dead.
And he did deliver us from mortal danger. And we are confident that he will continue to deliver us.
He will rescue us because you are helping by praying for us. As a result, many will give thanks to God because so many people's prayers for our safety have been answered.
We can say with confidence and a clear conscience that we have been honest d and sincere in all our dealings. We have depended on God's grace, not on our own earthly wisdom. That is how we have acted toward everyone, and especially toward you.
My letters have been straightforward, and there is nothing written between the lines and nothing you can't understand. I hope someday you will fully understand us,
even if you don't fully understand us now. Then on the day when our Lord Jesus comes back again, you will be proud of us in the same way we are proud of you.
Since I was so sure of your understanding and trust, I wanted to give you a double blessing.
I wanted to stop and see you on my way to Macedonia and again on my return trip. Then you could send me on my way to Judea.
You may be asking why I changed my plan. Hadn't I made up my mind yet? Or am I like people of the world who say yes when they really mean no?
As surely as God is true, I am not that sort of person. My yes means yes
because Jesus Christ, the Son of God, never wavers between yes and no. He is the one whom Timothy, Silas, e and I preached to you, and he is the divine Yes -- God's affirmation.
For all of God's promises have been fulfilled in him. That is why we say "Amen" when we give glory to God through Christ.
It is God who gives us, along with you, the ability to stand firm for Christ. f He has commissioned us,
and he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment of everything he will give us.
Now I call upon God as my witness that I am telling the truth. The reason I didn't return to Corinth was to spare you from a severe rebuke.
But that does not mean we want to tell you exactly how to put your faith into practice. g We want to work together with you so you will be full of joy as you stand firm in your faith.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)