Paul’s Change of Plans (Day 29)

Read 2 Corinthians 1:12-24
   Paul knew the importance of honesty and sincerity in word and action, especially in a situation as in Corinth, where constructive criticism was necessary. So Paul did not come with impressive human knowledge. God wants us to be real and transparent in all our relationships. If we aren’t, we may end up lowering ourselves to spreading rumors, gossiping, and second guessing. 
    Paul had recently made a brief, unscheduled visit to Corinth that was very painful for him and the church. After that visit, he told the church when he would return. But Paul changed his original travel plans. Instead of sailing from Ephesus to Corinth before going to Macedonia, he traveled from Ephesus directly to Macedonia, where he wrote a letter to the Corinthians that caused him much anguish and then much sorrow. He had made his original plans, thinking that the church would have solved its problems. When the time came for Paul’s scheduled trip to Corinth, however, the crisis had not been fully resolved. So he wrote a letter instead because another visit might have only made matters worse. Thus, Paul stayed away from Corinth because he was concerned over the church’s unity, not because he was fickle. 
    Paul’s change of plans caused some of his accusers to say that he couldn’t be trusted, hoping to undermine his authority. Paul said that he was not the type of person to say yes when he meant no. Paul explained that it was not indecision but concern for their feelings that forced him to change his plans. The reason for this trip to bring joy, could not be accomplished with the present crisis. Paul didn’t want to visit them only to rebuke them severely. Just as the Corinthians could trust God to keep his promises, they could trust Paul as God’s representative to keep his. He would still visit them, but at a better time. 
   All of God’s promises of what the Messiah would be like are fulfilled in Christ. Jesus was completely faithful in His ministry; He never sinned (1 Peter 3); He faithfully died for us (Hebrews 2); and now He faithfully intercedes for us (Romans 8; Hebrews 4). Because Jesus Christ is faithful, Paul wanted to be faithful in his ministry. 
    The Holy Spirit guarantees that we belong to God and will receive all His benefits (Ephesians 1). The Holy Spirit guarantees that salvation is ours now, and that we will receive so much more when Christ returns. The great comfort and power the Holy Spirit gives in this life is a foretaste or down payment of the benefits of our eternal life in God’s presence. With the privilege of belonging to God comes the responsibility of identifying ourselves as His faithful servants. Don’t be ashamed to let others know that you are His. 
    The Corinthian church had written to Paul with questions about their faith (1 Corinthians 7). In response, Paul had written 1 Corinthians. But the church did not follow his instructions. 
   Paul had planned to visit them again, but instead, he wrote a letter that caused sorrow but caused them to change their ways. He didn’t want to visit and repeat the same advice for the same problems. He wrote the emotional letter to encourage them to follow the advice that he had already given in previous letters and visits.