2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
The God of Comfort
3 Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. 4 He comforts us in all our affliction,[b] so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so through Christ our comfort also overflows. 6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation. If we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is experienced in your endurance of the same sufferings that we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that as you share in the sufferings, so you will share in the comfort.
8 For we don’t want you to be unaware, brothers, of our affliction that took place in Asia: we were completely overwhelmed—beyond our strength—so that we even despaired of life. 9 Indeed, we personally had a death sentence within ourselves, so that we would not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a terrible death, and He will deliver us. We have put our hope in Him that He will deliver us again 11 while you join in helping us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our[c] behalf for the gift that came to us through the prayers of many.
A Clear Conscience
12 For this is our confidence: The testimony of our conscience is that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you, with God-given sincerity and purity, not by fleshly[d] wisdom but by God’s grace. 13 Now we are writing nothing to you other than what you can read and also understand. I hope you will understand completely— 14 as you have partially understood us—that we are your reason for pride, as you are ours, in the day of our[e] Lord Jesus.
A Visit Postponed
15 I planned with this confidence to come to you first, so you could have a double benefit,[f] 16 and to go on to Macedonia with your help, then come to you again from Macedonia and be given a start by you on my journey to Judea. 17 So when I planned this, was I irresponsible? Or what I plan, do I plan in a purely human[g] way so that I say “Yes, yes” and “No, no” simultaneously? 18 As God is faithful, our message to you is not “Yes and no.” 19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me and Silvanus[h] and Timothy—did not become “Yes and no”; on the contrary, a final “Yes” has come in Him. 20 For every one of God’s promises is “Yes” in Him. Therefore, the “Amen” is also spoken through Him by us for God’s glory. 21 Now it is God who strengthens us, with you, in Christ and has anointed us. 22 He has also sealed us and given us the Spirit as a down payment in our hearts.
23 I call on God as a witness, on my life, that it was to spare you that I did not come to Corinth. 24 I do not mean that we have control of[i] your faith, but we are workers with you for your joy, because you stand by faith.