Bible study – 2 Corinthians 1
Dear brothers and sisters,
Today we start with the Bible study on a new Bible book: 2 Corinthians
In the first chapter we will be reading and talking about:
- Praise to the God of all comfort
- Paul’s change of plans
This Bible book was written by the Apostle Paul, who is travelling together with Timothy. And the letter is written to the church in Corinthe. Paul begins this letter by giving grace and peace to the church of Corinthe from God and Jesus. To me this shows how important it is to start talking with other Christians by first blessing them. In this world it might be easy to forget, but it is actually very important and powerful. I truly believe that one of the way that God blesses us, is actually through each other. If you are not willing to be a blessing to others, how can you expect that God will sent others on your way to also bless you?
Praise to the God of all comfort
Paul starts by giving praise to God Jesus, stating that He is the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort! Do you actually start your day by giving God the praise that He so richly deserves? If you do, than I am very proud of you! If not, than you should really rethink on what your faith actually means to you. If you are unable to start a day without giving God praise and asking Him for guiding you that day, are you really having faith? We should avoid being so busy in our lives, that we stop placing God on the absolute first place in our lives. I also ask God forgiveness for all days that I did not take the time to first come before His throne and thank Him for everything! As you might be able to read “between the lines” I am certainly not perfect and on this specific subject I also fall short to many times. But there is where I am also very blessed that we serve a forgiving God!
Paul continues by stating that it is God that actually comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can also comfort others in their troubles. The first that I get from this is, that we should always go to God, when we are in a troublesome situation and not look for help from others. But maybe you now think that I am actually contradicting myself. Actually I am not, because, yes, God uses us all to comfort each other. But is it us that does the comforting? No, God uses the Holy Spirit through us tot do that. So never give yourself any credit when you have comforted someone!
But why is it that God can help us with all our troubles? Well, simply because Jesus and He have experienced all troubles themselves! So, if someone knows how it feels to endure troubles, than it is Jesus! So, He is the perfect person to go to!
One way that God allows troubles in our lives is to help us to build endurance. Endurance to me is truly a gift from God. Why? Because if you read and fully grasp Revelations than you will know what times are coming. Times in which you will be persecuted just because you decided to follow God! Imagine if God did not allow any troubles to exist in your life. How would you be able to withstand with all that, if God never trained you to withstand it? Even in your times of trouble it is very important that you see and know that God is always with you, but also that He is actually teaching you skills that you need later on in your life!
In this part of chapter 1, Paul tells about the great distress and troubles that he is going through in the province of Asia. This is to show that he also is not without any suffering, but that he is trusting on God in those times. Another reason that Paul is telling us this is also because through our own experiences we can strengthen each other. Because if you are honest, to whom would you listen? Someone that has experienced troubles him- or herself or someone that is telling it out of the comfort of his or her easy life? Personally, I would listen to someone that also has gone through suffering and can testify how God actually guided him or her through it!
Another very important thing that Paul states is that he does not want us to be uninformed. And I agree with this! Imagine that you know that you are going through (or have gone through) great troubles and that God guided you through it, but that you keep silent and that you leave an opportunity to strengthen someone else that might be going through a troublesome situation him-/herself and was very much in need of comforting!
Paul’s change of plans
In this part of the 1st chapter Paul starts by stating these very strong words:
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.
When I just read these words I felt so much power come from it. Why? Because he points out that we are indeed living in this world, but that we, as Christians, can and need to testifify with integrity and godly sincerity! And more important that we more and more act on God’s grace and not on worldly wisdom. Because worldly wisdom is nothing. We really have a misguided notion that our own (worldly) wisdom is something special. It is not, because unlike God we base our “wisdom” on our limited understanding. While God bases his wisdom on His full and complete understanding!
I end this Bible study of the first chapter of 2 Corinthians with praying that God makes us stand firm in in any and all situations that we are going through, or that we might go through in the future. Never despair, but trust on the fact that God is with you and will guide you not only through it, but also makes you stronger through it!