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2 Corinthians was written about a year after 1 Corinthians. As Paul had said in 1 Corinthians, he visited Corinth, but the visit did not go well. In chapter 2, Paul refers to that visit as painful. Apparently, Paul was rejected as he attempted to correct the people for their bad behavior. He left Corinth and sent them a very severe letter that is lost to us today (2:3). His letter causes a majority of the people in the church to return to a proper way of thinking (7:9). This letter is joyful for their return to the faith, and Paul reaffirms his ministry to them.

As usual for a letter, Paul begins with a greeting. He describes his current situation as very troubled, but he also recognizes his relationship with God is especially comforting in these times. Even though most of the people in the church in Corinth have returned to a good relationship with Paul, some still oppose him. Apparently some are criticizing him for being indecisive about visiting them. He assures them he does not take his commitment to them lightly and his reasons for changing his plans were not a result of indecisiveness or selfishly motivated. Troubles will either push us closer to God or away from him. In Paul’s case, they pushed him toward God, because he could no longer rely on his own strengths or abilities. However, troubles can cause a person to think God doesn’t care or is powerless, so they abandon God. The difference isn’t in the troubles, but in our response to them. The next time something goes wrong in your life, use it as an opportunity to rely on God more.