Did you know that this is actually the fourth letter Paul wrote to the church at Corinth? The first letter he wrote was lost. 1 Corinthians is actually the second letter to them. The third was lost and 2 Corinthians is actually the fourth.
Paul’s love and concern for these people is both abundant and obvious. In this chapter, Paul is explaining why he was not coming to visit them as he had said he would.
The things that stand out in this chapter to me is this issue of suffering. As Paul puts it, suffering is for us to become more like Christ, and so we will be made aware of our need of God. It also grows our faith.
Faced with the possibility of even death during his trips to Asia (which we don’t have much info on) Paul quit relying on himself and learned to rely on God. God DID rescue them from mortal danger and Paul’s faith was increased.
Ask yourself some questions: Am I suffering? Is the suffering because of Christ or simply a consequence of my own choices? Am I relying on God to “fix” the source of my suffering or am I trying to do it on my own?
God, I lay down my burdens at Your feet. Lift us up today, Lord. Bring comfort in the midst of suffering. Bring reassurance that suffering causes increased faith and reliance on Your provision. Draw us to You today and provide Your peace. Help us to provide comfort to those we find suffering what we have formerly suffered, and so fulfill scripture.