2 Corinthians 1:7-12
2 Cor 1:7 (KJB)
And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.
Stedfast - Secure, firm or stable
Partakers - Partners
Here Paul is stating that his hope for these Corinthians is definitely secure in the knowledge that as they have shared or become partners with him in his afflictions, that they will also share in the consolation or the comforting by the Lord Jesus. However, this does not mean that the suffering will come to a complete end because the Lord Jesus comforts His children in the middle of persecution as well as when there is a respite. The principle here is that even under persecution the believer can have hope that they will experience the comfort of the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Cor 1:8 (KJB)
For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:
Have ignorant - Not knowing or not understanding
Trouble - Tribulation
We were pressed - Throughout
Out - Weighed down, oppressed, or burdened
Of measure - Excessive
Above strength - Beyond our strength or ability
Despaired - To be without resource or be in great difficulty
Here Paul is giving the Corinthians information about the great persecutions that he faced in Asia. He probably has in view here the scene at Ephesus (Acts 19) and Lystra (Acts 14), where he was stoned and left for dead. Paul states that the persecution was so heavy that it literally weighed them down, almost like having a millstone tied to their back, to the point that it was beyond human strength or ability to be able to endure such persecution. Paul even said that the affliction was so heavy that they even despaired of life, it seemed that he was to the point of physical death. If we do not rely upon the Lord in those times of persecution, it will seem like we are ready to be killed in His service.
2 Cor 1:9 (KJB)
But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:
Sentence - Like a response from an Emperor
Paul stated that this persecution was like being handed a death sentence from an official. However, Paul states that because of that type of sentence he learned not to trust in himself but to have faith and trust in God who has the ability to raise the dead. Abraham had the same type of faith. When he was told to sacrifice Isaac, he believed that he and the boy would return to the caravan because Abraham believed that God would raise him from the dead. (Gen 22:5 KJV) And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. The principle here is that no matter how hard the persecution, we are to trust God that He will handle the situation.
2 Cor 1:10 (KJB)
Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;
Deliver, delivered - Save or rescue
Paul gives glory to God that he rescued him out of all the afflictions which came his way. At this point Paul is also trusting God that He will deliver him from both present and future tribulations which may threaten his life. A great principle emerges here in that God will continue to deliver His people out of these tribulations until the time that a Christianís life and work on earth is done. Paul still had some years to go in service to God and that is why God kept delivering him from tribulations until one day Paul was on the chopping block and God did not deliver him from that because Paulís work on earth was done and now it was time for his eternal rest.
2 Cor 1:11 (KJB)
Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.
Paul invokes another major principle here and that is prayer. He states that the church was praying for him and he considered that they were helping him, even though they were not physically there. This is why prayer is important because you can become part of another personís ministry and not be there physically. So between Paulís trust in God for deliverance and the intercession ministry of the church, Paul was delivered out of some great mortal dangers. The gift that Paul is referring to is definitely the gift of being rescued. Since Paul was delivered, thanks to God had been given by many people on his behalf. Paul was the apostle to these churches and if he had died at that time, it would have been a hard time for the churches to understand the Scriptures and the ways that the Lord wanted the churches to be run.
2 Cor 1:12 (KJB)
For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.
Rejoicing - Boasting
Simplicity - Generosity or purity
Sincerity - Purity of motive
Conversation - Conduct or lifestyle
Abundantly - More or far greater
Paul begins to defend his position as an apostle. He states here that his rejoicing, is that the testimony of his conscience was both pure and pure in motive. He did not place any stock in fleshly wisdom as so many Christians do today by using the psychology based gospel which is not a pure gospel. Paul lived totally by the grace of God as he had just written in the past few verses. Paulís conduct in the world was by purity in his gospel and motives but, he says, that this life was given more abundantly to the Corinthian Christians, this is because some in the Corinthian church had begun to question the sincerity of the apostle Paul. Paulís conscience had bore witness to the fact that he had never deceived anyone and that included the Corinthian church.