Paul knows that reading God’s word daily nourishes our soul and gives us hope. Therefore, he says, “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”
Paul has been called to preach the gospel in places that have no church. He tells the Romans this is why he hasn’t visited sooner. However, he hopes to see them on his way to Spain. Paul ends the letter by greeting twenty-nine people in Rome (of whom ten are women) who labored in ministry with him. Paul concludes his letter to the Romans by giving glory to the Lord – “Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith— to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.”
Paul writes a second letter to the Corinthians – “Paul wrote 2 Corinthians from Macedonia, sometime after sending 1 Corinthians from Ephesus. Paul wrote 2 Corinthians in response to news Titus brought him of the church in Corinth and to further his collection for the poor in Jerusalem” (OYCB).
In his letter, Paul says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.” God uses our suffering to draw us nearer to Him for our good, and so that we may better know how to comfort others during their trials.
Paul defends himself to the Corinthians regarding why he changed his travel plans. He says it wasn’t because he was untrustworthy or indecisive, but for their own good – “Moreover I call God as witness against my soul, that to spare you I came no more to Corinth.”
Apparently there was some tension the last time Paul visited them, so Paul decided not to return. Instead he sent Titus to the church with a “severe letter” from Paul. “And I wrote this very thing to you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow over those from whom I ought to have joy, having confidence in you all that my joy is the joy of you all. For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you, with many tears, not that you should be grieved, but that you might know the love which I have so abundantly for you.”
Paul writes hard truths to the Corinthians, not to grieve them, but so they will know his love for them. We will read more of Paul’s words to the Corinthians tomorrow, so keep reading.
(Romans 15:1-16:27, 2 Corinthians 1:1-2:4)