The second letter to the Corinthians was evidently the outcome of the first. The apostle opened with the usual introduction, laying emphasis on his apostleship by the will of God, coupled with the salutation of grace. He wrote of a great trouble through which he had passed, and rejoiced in the comfort that had come to him, and, still more, in the ability to comfort others that had come to him from his experience.
Speaking of God as the "God of comfort," he said that experience of divine comfort in affliction enables us to comfort others. He tenderly recognized the aid afforded him by the prayers of the Corinthians, speaking of his deliverance as their gift to him.
It is evident that some in Corinth had charged him with fickleness of purpose in that he had not come to them as he had intimated he would do. Against this charge he now vindicated himself. He told them why he had not come to them. It was out of love for them; he wanted to spare them, and called God as witness. Yet immediately the apostle is careful to say that he had no lordship over their faith, that his only purpose was to minister to their joy, and that their standing was in faith, not in anything that he might say or do.
the Second Week after Epiphany