Thursday, July 8, 2010

2 Corinthians 7:5-16

5 For when we came into Macedonia, this body of ours had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn—conflicts on the outside, fears within. 6 But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, 7 and not only by his coming but also by the comfort you had given him. He told us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your ardent concern for me, so that my joy was greater than ever.
8 Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while— 9 yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. 10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. 11 See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter. 12 So even though I wrote to you, it was neither on account of the one who did the wrong nor on account of the injured party, but rather that before God you could see for yourselves how devoted to us you are. 13 By all this we are encouraged.
In addition to our own encouragement, we were especially delighted to see how happy Titus was, because his spirit has been refreshed by all of you. 14 I had boasted to him about you, and you have not embarrassed me. But just as everything we said to you was true, so our boasting about you to Titus has proved to be true as well. 15 And his affection for you is all the greater when he remembers that you were all obedient, receiving him with fear and trembling. 16 I am glad I can have complete confidence in you.

Questions to consider:
  • Compare and contrast comfort and suffering.
  • To what extent does your grief about yourself and your sin make you repent?
  • How has God specifically comforted you through another person?
  • How can you specifically comfort others this week at work, school, etc?

Possibilities for prayer:

Paul contrasts the sorrow of the world with Godly sorrow. It’s pretty exciting that Godly sorrow can bring about such good things--repentance, salvation, and an absence of regret. I think it’s really important that Paul points out that he wasn’t glad that the Corinthian church was made to feel sorrow in response to his previous letter, but that he was glad about the results that those feelings of sorrow elicited. The results of our own sorrow can be a good indication of whether it’s fruitful Godly sorrow, or the sorrow of the world. Today, let’s think about the things in our lives about which we are meant to be sorrowful. But let’s not stop there, let’s repent to God for those sins, rejoice in Him and with Him for the salvation we are granted, and praise Him for the absence of regret to which we are entitled when we truly repent.