Read 2 Corinthians 1
As Paul begins this letter to the church in Corinth, he praises God for an abundance of comfort and joy in the midst of a number of trials and struggles that he has faced. Given the context of this letter he could be referring to a difficult visit that he had with the church in Corinth or some other physical threat that Paul faced, and there were many.
What he faced, however, is not as important as how God has once again shown His faithfulness to Paul in bringing him through it. In fact, Paul says, the trials he faced were there so that Paul would learn to trust more in God and less on himself. This deliverance and provision is ongoing and Paul encourages the believers in Corinth to join him in this through prayer.
After saying this, Paul abruptly changes subjects for a moment, to talk about the change of plans that he has made. Apparently, this has caused a bit of a stir in the community even so much as to cause them to question Paul’s truthfulness.
Yet Paul brings this all back together, speaking of God’s plans for him and for all believers and how they are much more important. While we should certainly aim to be truthful and honest about how we speak, not committing to things and then dumping them when better offers come along, something that seems to happen in our culture today, we do need to always have a listening ear for the Spirit’s voice and direction.
God is certainly not out to do us harm but is always working to shape and mold us into the image of His Son. For in Him, as Paul says, the answer is always “yes,” though not always in the way that we might think. Paul’s change of plans, while sudden and abrupt, was God’s working for the benefit of both Paul and the church in Corinth. We too much have this listening ear, allowing God to guide and grow us into mature faith.