Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians
God's Comfort of the Afflicted, Part 1
2 Corinthians 7:3-5
22 May 2016
Concerned greatly for the spiritual welfare of the Corinthian church, Paul was "afflicted on every side" as he was fighting for them. After sending them a letter of rebuke, he was concerned, hoping they would repent and grow in faith. But even in his affliction, he found God's comfort.
Paul found comfort from God through confidence in His people. As he wrote, "you are in our hearts to die together and live together;" Paul loved the Corinthian believers even to eternity. For this reason, he had to confront them in love, because he wanted to see them grow in Christ; not stumble. As Proverbs 27:6 says, "faithful are the wounds of a friend."
Paul boasted of the Corinthians, loving them although they were cold towards him. He could only do this because he saw deeper than their disobedience: Paul saw God's redemptive work in them, and knew that they were objects of God's affection. Although it may be our tendency to be suspicious of some believers, we should always endeavour to see God's work in them.
Paul writes, "I am filled with comfort; I am overflowing with joy." What a strange concession in the midst of trial! But Paul knew what it was to find God's joy in grief. He saw God's love for the Corinthians, and for that reason loved them also, never speaking ill of them. In the same way, we are to love the Church, for it is God's family here on earth.
Psalm 149:4 says that God "takes pleasure in His people." May we also, like Christ, and like Paul, love the saints, and find joy and comfort in them through all affliction.