Paul says ‘Hello’
1This letter is from me, Paul. God chose me to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. Our Christian friend Timothy is here with me as I write.
I am sending this letter to you, the people of the church in Corinth city. I am sending it also to all of God's people who live in other places in Achaia.
2I pray that God, our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ will continue to help you. I pray that they will give you peace in your minds.
God himself comforts us
3We thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, because he is so good to us. As our Father, he is very kind to us. He is our God who comforts us in every way. 4Whenever we have trouble, he comforts us. Because of that, we ourselves can comfort other people. When they have any kind of trouble, we can comfort them, in the same way that God has comforted us. 5Christ himself received much pain, and God comforted him. As Christ's servants, we also receive the same kind of pain. But, God also comforts us very much, because we belong to Christ.
6So, when we receive trouble, the result is that we can comfort you. And then also, God saves you. When God comforts us, that helps us to comfort you too. As a result, when you receive the same kinds of trouble that we receive, you learn to be patient and strong. 7So, we continue to be sure that you will remain strong. You receive many troubles, as we do too. But we know that God will also comfort you, as he comforts us.
8Our Christian friends, we want you to know about the trouble that we had in Asia. Those troubles were very painful. We ourselves were not strong enough to continue. We even thought that we were going to die. 9We ourselves thought that we would certainly die. We knew that we could not trust our own strength. We had to trust God. He is the one who causes dead people to rise up to new life. So we could trust him to make us strong. 10We nearly died, but God saved us from that great danger. We know that we can continue to trust him. He will save us from any future danger. 11We also know that you continue to help us as you pray for us. As many people pray for us, they will thank God when he answers their prayers. They will see that God is very kind to us, and they will thank him.
Paul explains why he did not visit Corinth earlier
12We can be proud of how we have lived in this world. We have been careful to be honest and good with everyone. And we have been like that with you even more. We are sure in our own minds that this is true. We have not tried to be clever in a human way. But we have lived in the way that God has helped us to live. 13We are writing to you only about things that you yourselves can read and understand. And I hope that you will understand completely one day. 14You do not understand us completely yet. But I hope that you will understand completely on the day when our Lord Jesus returns. Then you can be proud of us in the same way that we will be proud of you.
15-16So, because I was sure that you trusted me, I wanted to visit you twice. Then I could bring God's help to you twice. I decided to visit you first on my way to Macedonia. Then I would visit you again on my way back from Macedonia. After that, you could help to send me on my journey to Judea. #1:15-16 Macedonia was north from the country that is called Greece now. Judea was the south part of Israel. 17I did not decide this in a careless way. I really wanted to do it. I do not decide to do things only to please myself, like someone who does not know God. I do not say ‘Yes,’ and then I immediately say ‘No’.
18God always does what he says he will do. In the same way, my promise to you was not both ‘Yes’ and ‘No’. 19Silas, Timothy and I told you the message about God's Son, Jesus Christ. Christ is not someone who changes his message between ‘Yes’ and ‘No’. Instead, he always says ‘Yes,’ and he does what he says. 20Christ says ‘Yes’ to all of God's promises, so that they become true. So when we pray, we say ‘Yes, amen!,’ because we know that Christ has done it. And when we do that, we are saying that God is great.
21It is God that causes us to continue to trust Christ. He does that for us and for you, because we belong to Christ. God has chosen us to serve him. 22He has also put his mark on us, to show that we belong to him. He has given his Spirit to us, to live in us. Because of that, we know that we will receive all the good things that God has promised.
23God will show that what I say is true! He knows my thoughts. Why did I decide not to come back to Corinth at this time? I did not come because I did not want to be angry with you. 24We are not trying to tell you what you must believe, like masters would do. You are already strong in your spirits because you trust God. So, we want to help you to be really happy.