Comfort, Confidence, and Joy

(2 Corinthians 7:13-16)

Therefore we were comforted in your comfort: yea, and exceedingly the more joyed we for the joy of Titus, because his spirit was refreshed by you all.” (2 Corinthians 7:13, KJV)

And his inward affection is more abundant toward you, whilst he remembereth the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling ye received him. I rejoice therefore that I have confidence in you in all things.” (2 Corinthians 7:15–16, KJV)

Certain people have a quality of character that gives others confidence. One time I was involved with hiring a salesman for our company. I looked through probably a hundred resumes and saw two or three that struck me. So, I scheduled a preliminary interview with them and then with the Managing Director. As I went through this process, I remembered something that my dad who was a chief engineer in his company had said. He mentioned that as he was trying to hire engineers for the company, the candidates would say they had experience in doing certain things on their resumes. However, once they hired the individuals, they could not do the things they said. This left me with an air of skepticism when trying to hire the correct salesman.

When I reviewed their resumes, I noticed something. Two of the men were working for the same firm. That is not unusual. Yet the thing that was unusual was that both men put on their resume that they were the top salesman for the company in the preceding year. I could not see a way that both men could be the top salesman at the same time. When I spoke to them, I believe that both indicated they had sold the largest sales percentage of any other salesman in the company. Someone was embellishing. I warned the Managing Director, who was a salesman himself, about the discrepancy. This one thing I know. One or both men were not honest and this did not give me confidence.

Just as with resumes and job performance, the actions of people earn confidence. There is an association between confidence and Joy and we see this in this section of Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth. Titus had a mission to take Paul’s directive to the Corinthians. We can imagine that Titus may also have had some concern over the way the church would welcome him with such a mission. However, his worries would be without merit as the church welcomed him with open arms. They received him and refreshed his spirit. They had received and responded to Paul’s directive.

The church had responded properly because the Lord was at work in them. Thus, Paul expressed that his confidence in them was justified and this brought him great joy.

When we as pastors see God’s people responding to the Lord in obedience, it brings us tremendous confidence and joy. The confidence comes as we know the Lord is working powerfully in the life of the church. To see the Lord at work in the lives of God’s people brings great joy to our hearts.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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