1 From Paul, chosen by God to be an apostle of Jesus Christ, and from Timothy, who is also a follower.
To God's church in Corinth and to all of God's people in Achaia.
2I pray that God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ will be kind to you and will bless you with peace!
Paul Gives Thanks
3Praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! The Father is a merciful God, who always gives us comfort. 4He comforts us when we are in trouble, so that we can share this same comfort with others in trouble. 5We share in the terrible sufferings of Christ, but also in the wonderful comfort he gives. 6We suffer in the hope that you will be comforted and saved. And because we are comforted, you will also be comforted, as you patiently endure suffering like ours. 7You never disappoint us. You suffered as much as we did, and we know that you will be comforted as we were.
8 My friends, I want you to know what a hard time we had in Asia. Our sufferings were so horrible and so unbearable that death seemed certain. 9In fact, we felt sure we were going to die. But this made us stop trusting in ourselves and start trusting God, who raises the dead to life. 10God saved us from the threat of death, and we are sure that he will do it again and again. 11Please help us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks for the blessings we receive in answer to all these prayers.
Paul's Change of Plans
12We can be proud of our clear conscience. We have always lived honestly and sincerely, especially when we were with you. And we were guided by God's gift of undeserved grace instead of by the wisdom of this world. 13I am not writing anything you cannot read and understand. I hope you will understand it completely, 14just as you already partly understand us. Then when our Lord Jesus returns, you can be as proud of us as we are of you.
15I was so sure of your pride in us that I had planned to visit you first of all. In this way you would have the blessing of two visits from me— 16 once on my way to Macedonia and again on my return from there. Then you could send me on to Judea. 17Do you think I couldn't make up my mind about what to do? Or do I seem like someone who says “Yes” or “No” simply to please others? 18God can be trusted, and so can I, when I say our answer to you has always been “Yes” and never “No.” 19 This is because Jesus Christ the Son of God is always “Yes” and never “No.” And he is the one Silas, Timothy, and I told you about.
20Christ says “Yes” to all God's promises. This is why we have Christ to say “Amen” for us to the glory of God. 21And so God makes it possible for you and us to stand firmly together with Christ. God is also the one who chose us 22and put his Spirit in our hearts to show that we belong only to him.
23God is my witness that I stayed away from Corinth, just to keep from being hard on you. 24We are not bosses who tell you what to believe. We are working with you to make you glad, because your faith is strong.