Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus; and not by his coming only, but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you, when he told us your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward me; so that I rejoiced the more. — 2 Corinthians 7:6-7
A while back, my wife began experiencing pain. It became so severe that she had to be transported by ambulance to a hospital. After tests were run on her and the pain was brought under control, she came home again. However, the hardest part was still ahead of us: waiting for the test results. Our minds tend to think the worst. Even when we pray about it, Satan will try and get us to focus on the most negative possible scenario. In my case, I entertained the thought that my wife might have cancer. When the good news came that the results were normal, it was as if a heavy burden had been lifted from my shoulders. I was able to look heavenward through tears of joy and say, “Thank you, Jesus!”
We love to hear positive reports. We rejoice when we hear a good report that a soul has come to know the Lord. When we read our church letters and magazines, it lifts our spirits to know how God is working with individuals around the world.
The message that Titus brought to Paul in today’s focus verse must have had a similar impact. Back in Paul’s day, there was no high-tech way for Titus to deliver his message. In our minds, we picture him hurrying to Macedonia to meet Paul in person. He knew Paul was burdened, and a good report would be welcomed by him and would be a great comfort.
Paul was concerned about more than the physical welfare of the Corinthians; he was burdened for their spiritual well-being. The news that Titus brought him — that the Corinthians were burdened for Paul’s sake — was encouraging to Paul. When we learn that someone has us on his or her heart and is holding us up in prayer, we are cheered and comforted by such concern.
As eager as we are to hear good news, we should be just as excited to spread a good report to others who need the message. As we look around us, we see a world that is becoming more and more burdened down with sin. It is our responsibility to tell the good news that Jesus saves!
These verses relate to Paul’s relationship with the church at Corinth, and Titus’ role as a messenger who brought Paul good news about the group of Corinthian believers.
In its early years, the Corinthian church was facing problems from within. Satan was using his tactics to try to destroy it. Paul felt the burden of trying to get the Corinthians to return to their original foundation, which was the Gospel he had preached to them. Paul’s letters to this church exhorted its members to address their internal issues so the church could grow and flourish. In his letters, he rebuked the Corinthians and let them know God was not pleased. Paul felt saddened by the pain this message must have inflicted on the people at the Corinthian church, but he was not sorry to tell them the truth. This proved to be a great benefit to these people.
In this chapter, Paul expressed a reason to rejoice. While at Macedonia, he received a visit from Titus. This visit relayed the good news that the Corinthian church was in a repentant state and wanted to embrace the Gospel as presented to them by Paul. We read that Paul, while at Macedonia, was facing a time of unrest, with pressures from outside the church and also from within (verse 5). Titus’ report could not have come at a better time. This news about the church at Corinth was encouraging and uplifting (verses 6 and 7).
When Paul departed from the Corinthian church, he was aware of those who sought to undermine him. After receiving the good news, Paul’s confidence in the Corinthians was restored (verse 16).
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
II. The apology of the Apostle
C. The conclusion
2. An appeal for confidence (7:2-16)
As we focus on good reports and share the Gospel message, we can encourage and uplift those around us and help to change lives in a positive direction.