2 Corinthians 1:23-2:11
But I call God to witness against me—it was to spare you that I refrained from coming again to Corinth. 24 Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, for you stand firm in your faith.
2 For I made up my mind not to make another painful visit to you. 2 For if I cause you pain, who is there to make me glad but the one whom I have pained? 3 And I wrote as I did, so that when I came I might not suffer pain from those who should have made me rejoice, for I felt sure of all of you, that my joy would be the joy of you all. 4 For I wrote to you out of much affliction and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to cause you pain but to let you know the abundant love that I have for you.
5 Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you. 6 For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, 7 so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8 So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. 9 For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything. 10 Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, 11 so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.
Judgement. Let's all be less judgmental. I find that to be true like faith is blind - so be blindfolded. We get through life learning from seeing our sibling get popped for doing something incorrectly. We learn family drama and high emotion over seeing report cards. We see rewards for good work. Life is about learning from the people around us.
We are saddened to see someone diminished by age. Saddened to see people diminished by hate.
Life is about learning what gifts we have been given, propelling us forward. And some friends lift us up and others bring us down. Sometimes we take ourselves far too seriously.
And that nasty Paul - he is at it again. Being that Christian Overlord telling us suffering is good.
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
This almost sounds as if we want to suffer. No Paul is saying - look to what purpose can be taken from the trouble. Solomon said blessing and trouble are from His Hand. You need Character to stand - instead of fall - for anything or something.
so that when I came I might not suffer pain from those who should have made me rejoice
1 Thessalonians 2:13
And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.
And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.”
At this point we all want to know - suffering - rejoicing - rather like Janet Jackson - what have you done for me lately?
And the correct response, because we are transparent to HIM is this -
"Father God, I have a few things I sure could use Your help with. And if You'd help I'd be mighty pleased and grateful. But I would like to build my life and my days to have meaning. To be meaningful to me and to You. I open my hands, my heart. Today let us build Your kingdom on earth with goodness and mercy from Psalm 23 being the wake I leave in this life. In the name of Jesus. Amen."
Back to the passage today:
Paul does not want to push power on someone to establish their faith or HIS. He is refraining from the visit saying you are doing fine.
Paul says we need to push people to do better - no - should rather turn to forgive and comfort.
Paul acts upon this principle - from Father God - know the abundant love that I have for you.
Forgiveness is given for such an odd reason - that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs. Surely we do not believe in evil. If you don't, you are probably one of the people who make fun of walking by faith - blindfolded. You have to be blindfolded not to know there is evil.
Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls. That's right. Our Paul gets only the second slot in the Christendom Kingdom on Earth. His Basilica had endurance and you have to look at that as a sign of God. 5 July 1823 a fire, started through the negligence of a workman who was repairing the lead of the roof, resulted in the almost total destruction of the basilica which, alone of all the churches of Rome, had preserved its primitive character for 1435 years. It was re-opened in 1840, and reconsecrated 1855.
Can you imagine - Peter went to the Jews - that small town, captain of industry and built His Church not to be prevailed against by the forces of what....
And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
So outsiders would say - look at the Church rewarding Paul by shoving his Basilica outside the walls of the city. Paul went to the Gentiles. Paul was all in - the Temple - upwardly mobile - Paul decided that mercy overcomes the rules. And the Lord took care of that Basilica for years and years. God feels forgiveness brings us into HIS path. And darkness is not where He wants our hearts, faith, love - to be. Paul stayed outside the walls to bring more people in.
We work with you for your joy, for you stand firm in your faith.
To let you know the abundant love that God has for you.