2 Corinthians 1
"...we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead." 2 Corinthians 1:8-9.
You know we could read that scripture right there and explain so much. It answers the question "why" in so many different circumstances. God is telling us He allows things to press us beyond our strength, so that we would not trust in ourselves but rather trust in Him. That's the reason. Bam!
God "hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts." 2 Corinthians 1:22
Now see? There's that earnest thing we're going to hear about again in chapter 5. Paul is saying: Yo, here's our earnest, here's our guarantee that all this stuff I'm saying to you is not just crazy talk.
2 Corinthians 2
"For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: to the one we are the savour of death unto death, and to the other the savour of life unto life." 2 Corinthians 2:15-16.
It's nice to know that if someone is repelled by Christians, and perhaps finds that we "stinketh," they're going down y'all. Christians are a lovely, fragrant aroma to other believers because they get it. To those who are perishing, we can really grate. Not a lot we can do about that, it's just the way they view us but we can be gracious while grating, which confuses them even more. It's true I admit: I used to think born-again Christians were weirdos. Not quite right in the head. Something about the Lord this and the Lord that? Whatever. Not cool. Now that I'm no longer lost, I see that Christians are beautiful and lovely. So, if we are being gracious and kind, and an unbeliever is annoyed by us, it just tells a lot about them not us. Shake the dust baby, shake the dust. If you're reading this and it's annoying, seriously read my testimony and get on board with the Bible folk.
2 Corinthians 3
"...our sufficiency is of God." 2 Corinthians 3:5
Par-tay! There's no emptiness or searching, when we look to Him for every little thang and that's sufficient.
If our nation really values liberty then we will value the Lord Jesus Christ: "...when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." 2 Corinthians 3:16-17
We as believers reflect His glory: "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory." 2 Corinthians 3:18
"...Christ, who is the image of God." 2 Corinthians 4:4
Can't separate the Father from the Son.
"We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed, we are perplexed, but not in despair: persecuted, but not forsaken, cast down, but not destroyed..." 2 Corinthians 3:8-9
Paul is encouraging us toward hope when he says that when troubles come, God's not going to let those destroy us. We finna triumph. Let's start a sassy website about that. Oh wait, we already did and it rocks.
2 Corinthians 5
God "hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 5:5
That's our guarantee that all this Jesus talk is for real. It's the difference between Christianity and every other religion. In the Old Testament when Elijah said to the Baal worshiper dudes in the time of king Ahab: okay let's see who can make fire come from heaven. Elijah prayed to God, some serious fire came down. The Baal guys shouted and flipped out for hours trying to get their lil pitiful make believe Baal to send some fire, but there's not gonna be any fire. We have the real God and the Holy Spirit is our earnest that proves that.
When I am exhausted and want to be a mean mamma and feel very impatient with my children, but I pray and ask God to please keep that from happening, and then I am a smiling sweet mother instead of monster mamma, that's the Holy Spirit. There's no other explanation.
"Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh..." 2 Corinthians 5:16
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature." 2 Corinthians 5:17
Well I'm living proof that we become a new creature once becoming "in Christ." The "not in Christ" time in my life was a serious downer and I shudder to think about it.
God "...who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation." 2 Corinthians 5:18
Normally the What Would Jesus Do concept irritates the fire out of me. One, because I like to be difficult. But two, because if you think about it, we can't and shouldn't try to be like Christ in the full sense because, um, we can't save the world. We can't be a deity. We can't be perfect. Trying is spooky. And Jesus didn't have a family as God desires other men to, because that would've muddled everything up. One, Satan could've had an absolute party with trying to divide Jesus between his savior gig and devotion to his wife. A good husband does not gallivant all over the place ignoring his own wife, like Jesus would've had to. And two, or is that three, somebody figure that out for me, Jesus could not have had children or we'd have this bizarre race of Jesus children running around who were part-Deity. Enough one's and two's already. That grumpiness aside, this scripture (if you even remember what it said at this point, bonus points for you) is telling us that we must do our part to reconcile to others the way Christ reconciled us to himself. This means we have to have some mercy action going on in our hearts, eh? Mercy is our ministry. Not like, "Lord-a mercy!" but as in, not giving people what they deserve. For example, a quote in my son's instagram said this: "You deserve a high five. In the face. With a chair."
So yeah, not doing that is merciful.
2 Corinthians 10
"For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise." 2 Corinthians 10:12.
Oh snap! Since numbers are infinite, they can never satisfy. Whether it's Facebook likes, cubits the Tower of Babel people were shooting for, money, number of children.... We'd get all insane again once we reached that number, and on and on forever like a madwoman. And it would have long stopped being about the Lord but become instead about us and our beautiful large numbers. I've decided I love my 26 Facebook likes and my 20 Twitter followers. Wanting those numbers to be different or higher would be rebellion to God. So I'm not trying to make them higher. They're the numbers God gave me. I'm not thinking about them or writing about them or anything.
Well as you can see it's an ongoing struggle. Caring about those numbers could really become a form of insanity. Speaking of insanity:
2 Corinthians 11
Now Paul warns us against crazies, who try to pose as somebody but really they're false dudes, deceitful wackos, and the like. Women especially can be taken by these sorts of fakes, nice sweet chicks like you and me. We love everybody, we're tenderhearted, everybody's just so sweet and good, we were created to follow (our husbands) and if we ourselves are trustworthy it's easy to think everyone else is. So we ladies need to be aware that these kind of liars are out there: "And no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light." 2 Corinthians 11:14.
I love "no marvel." Paul's all: No marvel, no biggee. Don't be surprised, folks. People are trying to deceive us, it's gonna happen, just don't let it fool you. Wink.