2Corinthians  ◦   Chapter 1

1From Paul, an ambassador of Jesus Christ, appointed by God himself, along with our brother Timothy, To all those in Corinth who have partaken of the healing Remedy to fear and selfishness–provided by God through Christ–together with all those participating in God's healing program throughout Achaia:2May God and our Lord Jesus Christ pour out their grace and peace upon you.

3All thanks, acclaim and recognition be to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ–for he is the Father of mercy, compassion and healing–4who provides Remedy for everything that troubles our minds and warps our characters, so that we can share this Remedy, which has brought peace to our minds, with everyone in any distress.5As we emulate Christ–suffering as he did–we, through Christ, experience healing and restoration of godly character.6If we suffer, it is to comfort you by our example and to encourage you with evidence that in God’s plan, suffering results in healing. It is our comfort to then comfort you with the assurance that endurance in God's treatment plan, though at times uncomfortable, results in healing and wellness.7Our hope for you is strong because we know that if you participate in God's treatment plan and suffer as we have, you will, like us, experience the comfort of a transformed character and peace with God.

8Brothers and sisters, we want you to know exactly what we have experienced in Asia. We have been under extreme pressure, far beyond our human ability to endure, and our despair has been so great that we have even considered death to be preferable to life.9Truly, our hearts felt like we were going to die. Why did this happen? So that we might stop relying on our own strength and trust our entire selves into God's hands, as he is able to breathe life into the dead.10And sure enough, he has delivered us from many deadly threats, and he will continue to deliver us. We have placed all our hope in him, and he will continue to provide for our needs and deliver us from danger.11Your prayers have been a great help to us, and many will praise God on our behalf for his gracious favor granted in answer to so many prayers.

12Now this is what we are truly proud of: that in all our actions in the world, and in our relationship with you, we have done what is right, reasonable and healthy, in harmony with God’s methods, and with a clear conscience. We have not practiced the worldly methods of self-first, but God’s gracious methods of love, truth, and freedom.13We do not write complex theories but the simple realities of God's kingdom, which are easy to understand. And I hope that14what you have understood thus far will lead you to greater understanding and experience in God’s methods, so that we can rejoice together in the day of the Lord Jesus.

15Because of my confidence in your growth, my original plan was to visit you twice: first16on my way to Macedonia, and then on my return from Macedonia, so that you may send me to Judea.17Do I make my plans impulsively? Or do I make plans like the world does, with fear and uncertainty, trying to be a people-pleaser and cover all the bases by saying Yes to some and No to others?

18But as certain as God is true, reliable and faithful, our message is not Maybe or Perhaps.19To God's Son — Jesus Christ — who you were taught about by myself, Timothy and Silas, it has never been Maybe or Perhaps, but it has always been Yes and Absolutely certain!20All of God's promises are realized through unity with Christ, and through him we are healed and restored in his image to be the final piece of evidence that brings glory to our God of love.21For it is God who recreates both us and you into the full stature of Christ, enabling us to stand firm in love and truth. He has cleansed our minds,22restored his character in us — and thus sealed us as his — and has put his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee of our complete restoration that is to come.

23As God can confirm, the reason I did not return to Corinth was to spare you discomfort.24We are not trying to control you or dictate your relationship with Christ, but are working on your behalf to see you completely restored to God's ideal, because it is through abiding trust that you will overcome.