In the middle 1100’s, the first king of Portugal, Afonso Henriques traveled through central Portugal and conquered many important cities. He was establishing his reign on the Iberian Peninsula and was quite successful.
Around the year 1169 he attacked a key city on the Portuguese-Spanish border. After a brutal battle his troops needed to withdraw. He was riding his horse out of the city of Badajoz when he struck a gate. He tumbled off his horse and broke his femur. After he broke his leg, he could no longer walk or ride. Worse than that, he was captured by his enemies. They picked up the king and took him hostage.
Fortunately or unfortunately, they took him to a castle where his daughter lived. Afonso had married her off to another lord who was helping his enemies, the Moors. They kept the king hostage until he returned many of the recently conquered cities. Afonso never rode again and his son took over the reign until he died. He entered Badajoz with great designs but in an instant everything changed.
Life is filled with many difficulties and trials. While you might not be battling knights and fighting for castles, you will definitely encounter many challenges. Raising children, working, serving in the local church and in many other ways we can grow tired and frustrated.
Paul was no stranger to difficulty. During constant travels, he faced death many times. 2 Corinthians was written to refute the accusations against Paul and to prepare for his third visit. In the face of opposition, God wanted the church to understand significant aspects of sovereignty and supernatural empowerment. These aspects of the gospel impact daily life.
In a very practical way, through 2 Corinthians we learn that God uses trials:
- To mold us into the image of Christ.
- To strengthen our faith.
- To extend our ministry to others who are suffering.
- To help us realize the fleeting nature of this world.
- To mature us in grace and spiritual strength.
I am supplying a list of study questions to help you read 2 Corinthians in a way that strengthen your faith.