2 Corinthians 1Living Bible (TLB)
1 Dear friends: This letter is from me, Paul, appointed by God to be Jesus Christ’s messenger; and from our dear brother Timothy. We are writing to all of you Christians there in Corinth and throughout Greece.[a] 2 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ mightily bless each one of you and give you peace.
3-4 What a wonderful God we have—he is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the source of every mercy, and the one who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials. And why does he do this? So that when others are troubled, needing our sympathy and encouragement, we can pass on to them this same help and comfort God has given us. 5 You can be sure that the more we undergo sufferings for Christ, the more he will shower us with his comfort and encouragement. 6-7 We are in deep trouble for bringing you God’s comfort and salvation. But in our trouble God has comforted us—and this, too, to help you: to show you from our personal experience how God will tenderly comfort you when you undergo these same sufferings. He will give you the strength to endure.
8 I think you ought to know, dear brothers, about the hard time we went through in Asia. We were really crushed and overwhelmed, and feared we would never live through it. 9 We felt we were doomed to die and saw how powerless we were to help ourselves; but that was good, for then we put everything into the hands of God, who alone could save us, for he can even raise the dead. 10 And he did help us and saved us from a terrible death; yes, and we expect him to do it again and again. 11 But you must help us too by praying for us. For much thanks and praise will go to God from you who see his wonderful answers to your prayers for our safety!
12 We are so glad that we can say with utter honesty that in all our dealings we have been pure and sincere, quietly depending upon the Lord for his help and not on our own skills. And that is even more true, if possible, about the way we have acted toward you. 13-14 My letters have been straightforward and sincere; nothing is written between the lines! And even though you don’t know me very well (I hope someday you will), I want you to try to accept me and be proud of me as you already are to some extent; just as I shall be of you on that day when our Lord Jesus comes back again.
15-16 It was because I was so sure of your understanding and trust that I planned to stop and see you on my way to Macedonia, as well as afterwards when I returned, so that I could be a double blessing to you and so that you could send me on my way to Judea.
17 Then why, you may be asking, did I change my plan? Hadn’t I really made up my mind yet? Or am I like a man of the world who says yes when he really means no? 18 Never! As surely as God is true, I am not that sort of person. My yes means yes.
19 Timothy and Silvanus and I have been telling you about Jesus Christ the Son of God. He isn’t one to say yes when he means no. He always does exactly what he says. 20 He carries out and fulfills all of God’s promises, no matter how many of them there are; and we have told everyone how faithful he is, giving glory to his name. 21 It is this God who has made you and me into faithful Christians and commissioned us apostles to preach the Good News. 22 He has put his brand upon us—his mark of ownership—and given us his Holy Spirit in our hearts as guarantee that we belong to him and as the first installment of all that he is going to give us.
23 I call upon this God to witness against me if I am not telling the absolute truth: the reason I haven’t come to visit you yet is that I don’t want to sadden you with a severe rebuke. 24 When I come, although I can’t do much to help your faith, for it is strong already, I want to be able to do something about your joy: I want to make you happy, not sad.