Words of Faith 11-6-17
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2017
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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2 Corinthians 7
[13b] In addition to our own encouragement, we were especially delighted to see how happy Titus was, because his spirit has been refreshed by all of you.  I had boasted to him about you, and you have not embarrassed me. But just as everything we said to you was true, so our boasting about you to Titus has proved to be true as well.  And his affection for you is all the greater when he remembers that you were all obedient, receiving him with fear and trembling.  I am glad I can have complete confidence in you.
How do you heal a relationship that has had it bumps and bruises? Paul had a solution. He expressed a confidence in those he had struggled with as an act of faith and that faith was rewarded.
Paul could have sent Titus on this trip to carry a "severe letter" with a harsh warning about the Corinthians. He could have pointed out all the people to "watch out for". He could have warned Titus about the possible pitfalls among the people that he had grown to know very well. But he did not do this. Instead, Paul expressed a strong confidence in the Corinthians that would treat Titus well, and they did.
Titus did not encounter anything negative. Instead, he was met by the godly sorrow of the Corinthians. Titus was as relieved and encouraged as Paul. Apparently Titus had had little or no occasion before his visit to Corinth with the "severe letter". He was dependent on Paul's glowing recommendation.
It is not clear whether this was Titus' first visit to Corinth. The occasion probably gave Titus some trepidation about the trip. The good thing was that the believers at Corinth had "helped put his mind at ease". The phrase in Greek may also be translated "his spirit has been refreshed." Perhaps both refreshment and relief had come to Titus.
Paul was relieved because his generous reassurances to Titus about the Corinthians had been supported. Just as his own truthfulness had been vindicated at Corinth, so also his boasting about them had now proved fully justified.
It is interesting that the reception of Titus at Corinth had been given "with fear and trembling". Hearing that Titus was coming, the Corinthian believers were anxious to the point of nervousness, fearing that corporately they would fail to meet all their obligations toward an envoy from Paul. Moreover, they had all readily complied with some demand Titus had made of them. Whenever he recalled their obedience and respectful deference to him, his affection grew all the warmer. This gave Paul complete confidence in the Corinthians and a secure base from which to propose the completion of the collection.
The concluding phrase of this chapter is a delightful one: I am glad I can have complete confidence in you. Paul still longed for a reciprocation of affection from the Corinthians but he no longer lacked confidence in them. This must have been reassuring to them as well.
Restored confidence is a good thing. It implies a rebuilding of trust and restoration of relationship. Things were getting better following a rocky time. Sometimes the restoring of confidence is the first step in rebuilding a relationship that has had its bumps. The reciprocation of affection that Paul longed for may come in time, but healing often starts when we express confidence and build from there.
Is there someone whom you need to restore confidence in? Is there a relationship that you need to rebuild? Reciprocal affection may not be there for a while, but Paul teaches us that we can start by expressing confidence in the things that we know to be true-- looking for the best and expecting the best from those who are seeking to walk with the Lord. It is amazing what that gift of confidence can do and how it can grow.
Father God, thank You for the miracles of Your Spirit. Thank You for the restoration of relationships that You are able to provide and complete. Thank You for restored communication and restored confidence. Help me to express confidence in those whom you are building up. Help to heal the relationships that have been difficult. Give me confidence in what You are doing in Your Body of Christ. In Jesus' Name.