Sometimes the kindest things done can emerge from the most difficult challenges. Looking back, can you see God’s mercy in the midst of something which seemed harsh or unpleasant to you at the time?
Every one of the early churches experienced in-common challenges, but which were each tailored to their own cities and settings. James addresses the difficult balance of faith and works. Galatians speaks to the syncretic blending which was occurring within the expanding Gentile work of through Holy Spirit. The Thessalonians were admonished to move forward as they built upon the basics and lived this life in light of the one that is to come.
1 Corinthians calls these believers to build solidly and avoid the pitfalls of pride, recognition, and quarreling with one another. The “love chapter” (13) is rightly seen as God’s expose’ on what true love looks like. As we follow the examples in the God Story, we are given a pivot in chapter 10. We can remain a Christ-follower 1.0 or we can instead press on to more mature upgrades of our hearts.
In 2 Corinthians we are reminded of the personal nature of the work of the Good News. Paul’s life included very little smooth sailing. Obedience brought with it persecution, and persecution necessitated perseverance. Those who love Jesus from the heart will rededicate ourselves to the truth over and over again. And we will take the prophetic words handed down to us and build our lives upon the Rock rather than sand. Corinthian clarity.