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2 Corinthians 7:6-8 The Voice (VOICE)

But God, who comforts the downcast, brought us comfort when Titus arrived from Corinth. We were relieved, not just to see him, but because he told us how he was encouraged to learn about your longing, your grieving, and your continued enthusiasm for me. So these were all more reasons for me to rejoice!

Jesus said blessings come out of mourning (Matthew 5:4). The very thought is ridiculous to some; but from Paul’s perspective, God uses weaknesses and is present in pain. This truth is revolutionary. In the midst of suffering, the mourner abandons pretense and self-consciousness. There we meet God and one another in honest ways that open the doors to redemption when we are willing.

God chose a people for Himself—a people that make up a body, bound together in a covenant. The forces of this world seek to divide and isolate, but God seeks to unite and reconcile. We must all learn to serve one another and hold our self-interests in abeyance to find a greater good in community.

The believers in Corinth were struggling to find unity and harmony in their local church. Some were living selfishly by eating all the food at their common meals or emphasizing issues that create division in the community. For Paul it was not enough that they learn to live well with one another, although that was important. They had to know they were part of a larger body—they belonged to the churches in Jerusalem, Ephesus, Philippi, and the new frontier of Christianity. We are also part of a global church. What would happen if the church would begin to live this simple truth and generously share all it has with our brothers and sisters across the globe?

I knew you would be upset with my last letter, but I do not regret sending it. If there were times I did have second thoughts, it was because I could see that the letter did hurt you, even if only for a while.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

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