Thirteen chapters, forty-nine posts, and six months later, we’ve finally reached the end of Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians. Along this journey we’ve learned more about Paul’s heart for his flock, the spiritual battle he fought on a daily basis, the authority God had given him, and most importantly, his great love for the Corinthian church. We’ve also discovered the various temptations, struggles, and failings of the Corinthians as they sought to follow God in an extremely pagan culture. A culture shockingly similar to our own, where pleasure is supreme, and the pursuit of it becomes a religion.
But through it all, Paul was right there encouraging them, disciplining them, and pointing them back to the straight and narrow way. Now as this passionate apostle closes his letter, he gives the Corinthians a few final directives.
“Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”
~II Corinthians 13:11
Don’t be heavy-hearted! Yes, this letter contains heavy words but rejoice in the goodness of the Lord, that He pulled you back from a dangerous path. In the midst of discipline, we can always find reasons to rejoice. Rejoice in the love of God, that He does not allow us to stay in sin without punishment for long. Rejoice in His tender mercy and boundless grace. No matter what we’re going through or what tough things we’re facing, we can always rejoice. So brothers and sisters, rejoice!
Live in Peace
Paul gives three brief but weighty commands. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, and agree with one another. These are all summed up in the fourth directive: live in peace. We cannot live in peace unless we pursue the first three commands. Discord happens when we let issues divide us. When there has been a rift in a relationship with a fellow Christian or spiritual leader, aim for restoration. Don’t let an issue permanently severe a God-given relationship.
By comforting one another we show each other that we care and that we truly appreciate them and feel their pain. Comforting one another in difficulty strengthens relationships and builds the church.
Agree with one another. This one is a tricky one to obey. How often do people agree? Not often! We all have our own opinions, ideas, and thoughts, and often these collide and an argument ensues. However, in order to live in peace, we need to agree with one another. Does this mean we compromise? No! But let’s be careful not to let little things become big because we were unwilling to defer to someone else’s opinion or idea. Most of the arguments in life are not over important things but over minute, petty, and non-crucial points or opinions.
God Will Be With You
If we do these things—rejoice, aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree, and live at peace—Paul gives us a promise: “The God of love and peace will be with you.” It’s not “may be with you,” it’s a for sure thing, “will be.”
So do you doubt God’s presence in your life? Do you feel that His love and peace is absent from you?
Maybe you should examine your life like we already talked about and see if you’re missing something. Are you aiming for restoration in your life? Are you quick to comfort a fellow believer? Are you living in peace?
If we do these things and pursue them with joy, the Corinthians’ promise is for us. God will be with us.
That concludes our II Corinthians study. Thanks for joining me on this adventure through the pages of God’s Word. I pray that you have been just as blessed and encouraged as I have been through this study. What new things have you learned? What was your favorite part of II Corinthians? Was there a particular passage that resonated with you?
I hope you’ll join me for another So I Fix My Eyes Bible Study in the future. In the meantime, may God bless you as you study His Word, and may He open your eyes to the great treasures and truths He gives.
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