The Church Makes Paul Happy

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Rejoicing

We should stay away from everything that keeps our bodies and spirits from being clean (v. 1). Please open your hearts to us (v. 2). You are in our hearts, and we live or die together with you (v. 3). I have the highest confidence in you, and I take great pride in you. You have greatly encouraged me and made me happy despite all our troubles (v. 4). We should honor God and try to be completely like him. In this passage Paul resumed the story that he left in 2:13, where he said he went to Macedonia to look for Titus. Though Paul still had many problems and hardships to face, he found comfort and joy in the ministry God had given to him. Titus had visited the Corinthian church and now he rejoins Paul in Macedonia (vv. 5-6). His report brings rejoicing to the apostle’s heart. The church had received Titus and now they were ready to receive Paul (v. 13). He asks them to trust him, for he had never done anything to wrong them.

Paul’s frame of mind, before Titus’ arrival was far from being at peace. It says that “he had  no rest” (v. 5). The great apostle Paul was not always on a spiritual high and he was not afraid to admit it.  His conflicts, fears and depression were brought on by opposition and persecution in Macedonia. He was not sure how Titus was being treated by the Corinthians and how they would respond to his letter. But God cheers up people in need, and that is what he did when he sent Titus to us (v. 6).

Did you ever wonder why it is often so difficult to assure people of your love? What more could Paul do to convince them? Now, the Corinthians had evidenced to Titus a repentant spirit and a desire to be reconciled to Paul, for this he was rejoicing (v. 7).

Application

There is joy in seeing someone we love being welcomed and well-treated. What is true of us is true of God. That is why I can best show my love for God by loving other people. The thing that delights the heart of God is to see one of his children kindly treated.

II Corinthians 7:1-7 (English Standard Version)

Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God. Make room in your hearts for us. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have taken advantage of no one. I do not say this to condemn you, for I said before that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together. I am acting with great boldness toward you; I have great pride in you; I am filled with comfort. In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy. For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted at every turn--fighting without and fear within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort with which he was comforted by you, as he told us of your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced still more.

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