Saturday, 10 October 2015
But thanks be to God who puts the same earnest care for you into the heart of Titus. 2 Corinthians 8:16
Paul, always giving thanks where thanks is due, moves from his idea of Christian giving in order to relieve one another’s burden, to the heartfelt care of Titus for those in Corinth. He thanks God for having directed Titus’ heart in this way stating that He “puts the same earnest care for you into the heart of Titus.”
Some older translations say “put” as if it was something instilled in Titus in the past. This is not correct. The verb is in the present tense; it is an on-going action. God put, and continued to put, earnest care for those in Corinth into Titus’ heart. This is important because it indicates that he still had that care for them and he continued to be burdened for them as Paul wrote the letter which would then be carried by Titus back to them.
In arriving, they would read this verse and know that among them stood a person who had not only cared for them in the past, but who continued to do so. Paul makes no direct connection to himself here, but the thought is to be implicitly understood. Just as Paul cared about them, and just as he continued to care about them, so Titus also cared about them.
In context, it needs to be remembered that Paul is speaking of the gift which is being collected for the saints in Jerusalem. Therefore, the care which is being referred to includes the fact that the Corinthians had promised to make a gift and that this promise needed to be fulfilled. If not, then there would be a stain upon them and upon their name. Therefore, the care of Paul and Titus is that this would not occur, but rather that they would complete the task and receive thanks rather than disapproval.
Life application: If there is a need for God’s people that He determines will be met, He will ensure that the need is met. It is He who stirs the hearts and directs the events in such times. Be assured that He is overseeing His church in an absolutely perfect way. If things don’t turn out as we may hope or expect, we shouldn’t become disheartened because the Lord already figured the matter out in accord with His greater plan.
Lord, knowing that You are in control of all things sure takes the pressure off when times don’t go well. Just because I may not understand why trials come, should I think that Your plan has failed? Not at all! Help me to remember this when things seem to be falling apart. Help me at those times to say, “God has it all under control… this was no surprise to Him.” I am confident that there is a good plan which will not fail to come out exactly as You ordained. Thank You for this. Amen.