I once heard a Christian leader say, "I don't believe what a pastor says unless he's been broken". Apparently, he felt suffering improves a person's credibility. If that's true, the book of 2 Corinthians should be cherished by all God's people. In it, we meet a prominent early Christian leader (the apostle Paul) who had suffered tremendously in the course of his work. He quite literally had been beat up on a number of occasions and faced numerous other dangers.
When life goes wrong, what happens to one's faith? Usually, one of two things. It goes deeper or it wilts. In the case of the apostle Paul, he emerged from his season of suffering a new man.
He's more humble, yet more confident. Exactly how he's suffered, he doesn't say. But one thing is for sure: God met him in his troubles and he's a better man for it. He now sees more clearly than ever, the advantages of believing in and belonging to Jesus Christ.
Do we know suffering? In the course of our lifetime, we may have suffered physically, emotionally or spiritually. Suffering can take place in our earthly family or our church family. No matter where or how, when we suffer, we need God's help to see us through. And 2 Corinthians assures us God will be there to stand with us.
We hope you will find these studies in 2 Corinthians of great encouragement as you face hardship and heartache in your journey.