Paul writes: “For even if I grieved you with my letter, I do not regret it—even though I did regret it since I saw that the letter grieved you, yet only for a little while. Now I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because your grief led to repentance” (7:8,9). Just a reminder that life in Christ is ultimately about our holiness, not about our immediate comfort or pleasure or ease. This is a theme that Paul mentions on various occasions, for instance, Romans 5: affliction produces endurance, which produces character, which produces hope. And in 2 Corinthians 4: “We always carry the death of Jesus in our body, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who live are always given over to death because of Jesus, so that Jesus' life may also be revealed in our mortal flesh” (vss. 10,11).
Daily, in the Word and by the Spirit, we are becoming more and more like Jesus. And, one day, we will be perfectly holy even as he is!
Come, Holy Spirit, heav’nly Dove,
with all Thy quick’ning pow'rs;
kindle a flame of sacred love
in these cold hearts of ours.
O raise our thoughts from things below,
from vanities and toys;
then shall we with fresh courage go
to reach eternal joys. -- Isaac Watts (1707)