2Co 7:4-7 “Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation. For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears. 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.”
Paul was moved to have an abundance (great) of frank assurance (boldness of speech) for the church at Corinth. He was also moved to rejoice to others the faithfulness of those in Corinth who had received his ministry by the grace of God. He had found an abundance of quiet joy in spite of the many troubles he was called on to endure, and he was greatly comforted. What brought all this about?
God had comforted him and those with him. As we minister to God’s people, few things are more encouraging to us than to see the evidence that our brothers and sisters are being moved by this ministry. It is comforting, not because of us, but because we have an assurance that the hand of God is upon us and upon them. There is no tribulation that can compare to the assurance that God is in the matter.
It is also important to note that God ministers to those He sends to minister. Paul said they were comforted by the coming of Titus. It was comforting to see him, and it was even more comforting to hear the testimony he brought of the effect of faithful ministry of God’s word. God is able to comfort us even when we are surrounded by trials.
Paul testifies here that when they came to Macedonia there was no rest for them at all. They were surrounded with trouble and persecution. There were external controversies on every hand and internal doubts and fears. Paul wrote to them in his first epistle concerning the many problems and divisions among them. He rebuked them strongly for failing to earnestly contend for the faith.
Any time a minister of God has to speak to God’s children about issues that need correcting, there is a great heaviness of heart. As human beings, we are concerned about hurting the feelings of our brothers and sisters. As ministers of God, we are concerned about failing to address those things that He has placed before us. Thankfully, God comforts those who are cast down (concerned) about the effect their ministry may have on their fellowship with His people.
God sent Titus to tell Paul and his companions about how encouraged (comforted) he was by the attitude and actions of the church at Corinth. He witnessed to Paul the churches earnest desire to walk in the light of the gospel and to glorify God. He spoke to Paul about how the brethren were repenting of their divisions and their idolatry. Lastly, he spoke to Paul about their great zeal toward Paul and the truth he declared to them.
It is good to remember that those that minister to you are human. We are concerned about how our speech is going to affect you. We long for your love and fellowship, and knowing we have that causes great rejoicing in our hearts. However, we cannot shun declaring the counsel of God unto you just so you will think well of us in the short term.
May God bless us with boldness of speech and trust in His comfort so that we may rejoice greatly with His saints!