1 Greetings from Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus. I am an apostle because that is what God wanted. Greetings also from Timothy our brother ˻in Christ˼. To God’s church that lives in Corinth and to all of God’s people in the whole country of Achaia: 2 Grace ˻(kindness)˼ and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is the Father who is full of mercy. He is the God of all comfort. 4 He comforts us every time we have trouble, so that we can comfort other people any time they have trouble. We can comfort them with the same comfort that God gives us. 5 We share in the many sufferings of Christ. In the same way, much comfort comes to us through Christ. 6 If we have troubles, those troubles are for your comfort and salvation. If we have comfort, it is for your comfort. This helps you to patiently accept the same sufferings that we have. 7 Our hope for you is strong. We know that you share in our sufferings. So we know that you also share in our comfort. 8 Brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the trouble we suffered in the country of Asia. We had great burdens there. The burdens were greater than our own strength. We even gave up hope for life. 9 Truly in our own hearts we believed that we would die. But this happened so that we would not trust in ourselves. It happened so that we would trust in God, who raises people from death. 10 God saved us from these great dangers of death. And God will continue to save us. We have put our hope in him, and he will continue to save us. 11 And you can help us with your prayers. Then many people will give thanks for us—that God blessed us because of their many prayers. 12 This is what we are proud of, and I can say with all my heart that it is true: In all the things we have done in the world, we have done everything with an honest and pure heart from God. And this is even more true in the things we have done with you. We did this by God’s grace ˻(kindness)˼, not by the kind of wisdom the world has. 13 The only things we write to you are things that you can read and understand. And I hope that you will fully understand, 14 like you have already understood some things about us. I hope that you will understand that you can be proud of us, like we will be proud of you on the day our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. 15 I was very sure of all this. That is why I made plans to visit you first. Then you could be blessed twice. 16 I planned to visit you on my way to Macedonia. Then I planned to visit you again on my way back. I wanted to get help from you for my trip to Judea. 17 Do you think that I made those plans without really thinking? Or maybe you think I make plans like the world makes plans, so that I say, “Yes, yes” and “No, no” at the same time. 18 But if you can believe God, then you can believe that what we tell you is never both “Yes” and “No.” 19 The Son of God, Jesus Christ, that Silas and Timothy and I told you about was not “Yes” and “No.” In Christ it has always been “Yes.” 20 The “Yes” to all of God’s promises is in Christ. And that is why we say “Amen” through Christ to the glory of God. 21 And God is the One who makes you and us strong in Christ. God gave us his special blessing. 22 He put his mark on us to show that we are his. And he put his Spirit in our hearts to be a guarantee—˻a proof that he will give us what he promised˼. 23 I tell you this, and I ask God to be my witness that this is true: The reason I did not come back to Corinth was that I did not want to punish or hurt you. 24 I don’t mean that we are trying to control your faith. You are strong in faith. But we are workers with you for your own happiness.