Scripture

2 Corinthians 1:12-24

Paul’s Change of Plans

12 Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace. 13 For we do not write you anything you cannot read or understand. And I hope that, 14 as you have understood us in part, you will come to understand fully that you can boast of us just as we will boast of you in the day of the Lord Jesus.

 

15 Because I was confident of this, I wanted to visit you first so that you might benefit twice. 16 I wanted to visit you on my way to Macedonia and to come back to you from Macedonia, and then to have you send me on my way to Judea.17 Was I fickle when I intended to do this? Or do I make my plans in a worldly manner so that in the same breath I say both “Yes, yes” and “No, no”?

18 But as surely as God is faithful, our message to you is not “Yes” and “No.” 19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me and Silas and Timothy—was not “Yes” and “No,” but in him it has always been “Yes.”20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. 21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

23 I call God as my witness—and I stake my life on it—that it was in order to spare you that I did not return to Corinth. 24 Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, because it is by faith you stand firm.

Reflection

In verse 20, the Apostle Paul tells the Corinthian church that all the promises of God find their “yes” in Christ. That is a powerful and far-reaching statement. There is great comfort in knowing that Christ speaks the “Amen” to us in all of God’s promises. Sometimes it is easier to have faith in the present than to trust in the future of God’s promises. But our current circumstances and our future hope are both part of our relationship with God, in Christ. 

Trusting Jesus, believing in Jesus for salvation, redemption, and restoration, means believing that God kept and keeps his word. And it allows us to believe in the future, in all of eternity, that nothing will separate us from God’s love, or keep God from working all things together for good.

I was talking with some friends about money and why many Christians are reluctant to give a regular amount to the church on a regular basis. There are lots of reasons of course, but I think a big one is this inability to truly trust God with our future. Giving or tithing is often the final frontier in spiritual growth. We can trust God with our current circumstances, but we just can’t seem to give our future to the trust and care of God.

Perhaps if we root ourselves in gratitude and grace for the ways God guides in the present, we will have confidence in all that God promises for our future. I often remind myself that God loves me more than I love myself. Knowing this allows me to trust God with my future, my hopes, and my dreams. Christ is our “Yes” and our “Amen!” Our belief in Jesus Christ and our relationship with God through Christ offers us the assurance of a future filled with love, grace, joy and peace. God will not fail us. Please understand that I am not saying God will answer “Yes” to all your prayers. You will sometimes get a “No” or a “Wait.” You will still go through difficulty. But God has anointed us. God set his seal upon our hearts, and gave us the Holy Spirit to guide us back again and again to the “Yes” of Christ. This is where our future is found. 

Prayer

Heavenly Creator, Thank you for the pattern of new life you set in the world. Thank you that all of life is redeemable. Create in me a renewed spirit, new life, growth toward your righteousness. Keep me rooted in your love. Find in me the least desirable parts and let your light shine on them for healing and redemption. I am yours completely, Lord.  May your will be done in my life each day. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.