3 我們主耶穌基督的父上帝當受讚美！祂是仁慈的父和賜一切安慰的上帝。 4 我們遭遇任何患難，祂都安慰我們，使我們能夠用祂給我們的安慰去安慰那些在各樣患難中的人。 5 正如我們多受基督所受的苦楚，也靠基督多得安慰。 6 我們遭受患難，是為了使你們得到安慰和拯救；我們得到安慰，也是為了使你們得到安慰，以便你們能忍受像我們所遭遇的諸般苦難。 7 我們對你們堅信不移，因為知道你們既和我們同受患難，也必和我們同得安慰。
8 弟兄姊妹，希望你們知道我們在亞細亞所遭遇的苦難。那時我們承受極大的壓力，超過了我們的極限，甚至連活命的指望都沒了。 9 我們心裡覺得必死無疑，這使我們不倚靠自己，只倚靠使死人復活的上帝。 10 祂曾救我們脫離死亡的威脅，將來還要救我們。我們深信祂必繼續救我們。 11 你們也要用祈禱幫助我們，使恩典藉著許多人的禱告臨到我們，眾人便因此而為我們感恩。
12 我們感到自豪的是：我們本著上帝所賜的聖潔和誠實為人處世，倚靠祂的恩典，不倚靠人的聰明才智，對待你們更是這樣。這一點，我們的良心可以作證。 13-14 我們不寫任何你們讀不懂、不明白的內容。你們現在對我們有幾分認識，但我盼望你們最終完全認識到：當主耶穌再來的日子，你們將以我們為榮，正如我們將以你們為榮一樣。
15 我有這樣的把握，所以早就計劃去你們那裡，使你們有兩次蒙福的機會。 16 我打算從你們那裡去馬其頓，再從馬其頓回到你們那裡，然後你們為我送行前往猶太。 17 我定了這計劃，難道會反覆無常嗎？難道我是意氣用事，出爾反爾嗎？ 18 我在信實的上帝面前保證：我們對你們說的話絕不會忽是忽非！ 19 我和西拉、提摩太在你們當中所傳揚的那位上帝的兒子耶穌基督絕不會忽是忽非，在祂只有「是」。 20 因為上帝的一切應許在基督裡都是確實的，所以我們也是藉著基督說「阿們[a]」，將榮耀歸於上帝。 21 是上帝使我們和你們一同在基督裡信心堅固。祂差遣[b]了我們， 22 在我們身上蓋了祂自己的印記，並讓聖靈住在我們心中作擔保。
23 我求上帝為我作證：我沒有去哥林多，是為了寬容你們。 24 我們並不是要操縱你們的信仰，而是要幫助你們，使你們喜樂，因為你們在信仰上已經站穩了。
11-2 I, Paul, have been sent on a special mission by the Messiah, Jesus, planned by God himself. I write this to God’s congregation in Corinth, and to believers all over Achaia province. May all the gifts and benefits that come from God our Father and the Master, Jesus Christ, be yours! Timothy, someone you know and trust, joins me in this greeting.
3-5 All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too.
6-7 When we suffer for Jesus, it works out for your healing and salvation. If we are treated well, given a helping hand and encouraging word, that also works to your benefit, spurring you on, face forward, unflinching. Your hard times are also our hard times. When we see that you’re just as willing to endure the hard times as to enjoy the good times, we know you’re going to make it, no doubt about it.
8-11 We don’t want you in the dark, friends, about how hard it was when all this came down on us in Asia province. It was so bad we didn’t think we were going to make it. We felt like we’d been sent to death row, that it was all over for us. As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened. Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally—not a bad idea since he’s the God who raises the dead! And he did it, rescued us from certain doom. And he’ll do it again, rescuing us as many times as we need rescuing. You and your prayers are part of the rescue operation—I don’t want you in the dark about that either. I can see your faces even now, lifted in praise for God’s deliverance of us, a rescue in which your prayers played such a crucial part.
12-14 Now that the worst is over, we’re pleased we can report that we’ve come out of this with conscience and faith intact, and can face the world—and even more importantly, face you with our heads held high. But it wasn’t by any fancy footwork on our part. It was God who kept us focused on him, uncompromised. Don’t try to read between the lines or look for hidden meanings in this letter. We’re writing plain, unembellished truth, hoping that you’ll now see the whole picture as well as you’ve seen some of the details. We want you to be as proud of us as we are of you when we stand together before our Master Jesus.
15-16 Confident of your welcome, I had originally planned two great visits with you—coming by on my way to Macedonia province, and then again on my return trip. Then we could have had a bon-voyage party as you sent me off to Judea. That was the plan.
17-19 Are you now going to accuse me of being flip with my promises because it didn’t work out? Do you think I talk out of both sides of my mouth—a glib yes one moment, a glib no the next? Well, you’re wrong. I try to be as true to my word as God is to his. Our word to you wasn’t a careless yes canceled by an indifferent no. How could it be? When Silas and Timothy and I proclaimed the Son of God among you, did you pick up on any yes-and-no, on-again, off-again waffling? Wasn’t it a clean, strong Yes?
20-22 Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God’s Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident. God affirms us, making us a sure thing in Christ, putting his Yes within us. By his Spirit he has stamped us with his eternal pledge—a sure beginning of what he is destined to complete.
23 Now, are you ready for the real reason I didn’t visit you in Corinth? As God is my witness, the only reason I didn’t come was to spare you pain. I was being considerate of you, not indifferent, not manipulative.
24 We’re not in charge of how you live out the faith, looking over your shoulders, suspiciously critical. We’re partners, working alongside you, joyfully expectant. I know that you stand by your own faith, not by ours.