“We were afflicted at every turn – fighting without and fear within” (v5). With great transparency, Paul confessed that he and the apostles had struggled physically and emotionally in their ministry. Their heavy burden for the Corinthian believers, in which they called them to forsake sin and pursue holiness (v1), came from love: “you are in our hearts” (v3). Paul was comforted by the arrival of Titus, who brought the good news that the Corinthians had received Paul’s correction and teaching with humility.
“But God, who comforts the downcast …” (v6). Serving the Lord may include experiences of “fighting and fear” or other trials, yet God is faithful to bring us comfort and revive our strength.