Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes, To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way—in all your speaking and in all your knowledge—because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.
1 Corinthians 1:1-9
Missionary Paul wrote this paragraph to a group of Christians in Corinth, Greece. If you knew about them, you would wonder why he thanked God for them.
Their church family was a mess. They were suing each other in court, arguing about which pastor was better, trampling on each other’s feelings, getting drunk before church, openly visiting prostitutes, causing all kinds of trouble.
Paul thanked God for them?
Would Paul thank God for us? God demands we that be holy. When we almost crash because an oncoming driver didn’t use the turn signal and swerves in front of us, do we get a little angry and say things we shouldn’t? Is there a bit of resentment when our spouse watches TV while we’re still doing housework? Do we tend to discriminate against people whom we have determined are different than us?
Paul didn’t thank God for what the Christians in Corinth were doing. He thanked God for what the Lord was doing in them. The Lord made them holy, he made them spiritually rich, he made them faithfully strong. Paul thanked God for them because God had been gracious to them through the Lord Jesus Christ.
God is gracious to us too. He daily forgives our sins through Christ, making us blameless before God and confident that by faith in Jesus we are worthy of eternal life. He uses his Word written in the Bible to grow our knowledge of his grace. He enriches our lives in every way, blessing us with patience, joy, hope, and peace.
No matter how we have failed God, no matter the struggles we have, we can always thank him for the great blessings he gives us in Jesus.
Father, thank you for what you do in my life every day. Amen.