1 PAUL an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and brother Timotheus, to the church of God at Corinth as well as to all the saints throughout the whole of Achaia: 2 grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of tender mercies and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts me in all my distress, so that I am able to comfort people who are in any distress by the comfort with which I myself am comforted by God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ are abundant in my case, so my comfort is also abundant through Christ. 6 If I am in distress, it is in the interests of your comfort and salvation; if I am comforted, it is in the interests of your comfort, which is effective as it nerves you to endure the same sufferings as I suffer myself. 7 Hence my hope for you is well-founded, since I know that as you share the sufferings you share the comfort also.
8 Now I would like you to know about the distress which befell me in Asia, brothers. I was crushed, crushed far more than I could stand, so much so that I despaired even of life; 9 in fact I told myself it was the sentence of death. But that was to make me rely not on myself but on the God who raises the dead; 10 he rescued me from so terrible a death, he rescues still, and I rely upon him for the hope that he will continue to rescue me. 11 Let me have your cooperation in prayer, so that many a soul may render thanks to him on my behalf for the boon which many have been the means of him bestowing on myself.
12 My proud boast is the testimony of my conscience that holiness and godly sincerity, not worldly cunning but the grace of God, have marked my conduct in the outside world and in particular my relations with you. 13 You don't have to read between the lines of my letters; you can understand them. Yes, I trust you will understand the full meaning of my letters 14 as you have partly understood the meaning of my life, namely that I am your source of pride (as you are mine) on the Day of our Lord Jesus.
15 Relying on this I meant to visit you first, to let you have a double delight; 16 I intended to take you on my way to Macedonia, and to visit you again on my way back from Macedonia, so as to be sped by you on my journey to Judaea. 17 Such was my intention. Now, have I shown myself 'fickle'? When I propose some plan, do I propose it in a worldly way, ready to mean 'no' as well as 'yes'? 18 By the good faith of God, my word to you was not 'yes and no'; 19 for the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was proclaimed among you by us (by myself and Silvanus and Timotheus) was not 'yes and no' ??the divine 'yes' has at last sounded in him, 20 for in him is the 'yes' that affirms all the promises of God. Hence it is through him that we affirm our 'amen' in worship, to the glory of God. 21 And it is God who confirms me along with you in Christ, who consecrated me, 22 who stamped me with his seal and gave me the Spirit as a pledge in my heart.