2 Corinthians: Suffering and Consolation



Scripture verse: “For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.”



  1. Students should memorize the verse and understand its meaning.
  2. Students should understand the context of the book and be able to apply the sufferings of Paul to their own lives.


Background on the book:

            This letter was written by St. Paul in the same year as I Corinthians, after he received a report from Titus about the state of the church in Corinth.  Paul had now left Ephesus, having been almost killed in the great riot, and was visiting the region of Philippi and Thessalonica. The problems of immorality and idol worship had been dealt with, but new problems were surfacing. Paul sent Titus right back to Corinth with his response. Later that year, Paul himself would visit Corinth, and there write the letter to the Romans. Find Corinth, Ephesus, Philippi, and Thessalonica on a map.


Possible Lesson Plan:

1.      Open with prayer.


2.      Review the background of the book.


3.      Scripture Lesson: Again have each student read one chapter and report to the class. The reading should take 5 minutes or so. Extra chapters can be done by the teacher or skipped, depending on class time and number of students. Below find 6 selected chapters to focus on:

·         Chapter 1: Sharing of suffering by prayer – Do Christians suffer? What is one reason Paul gives for his suffering? (that, after he is comforted by God, he can comfort others) How can each of us share in the burden of the suffering of other Christians? (prayer) Re-read our litany. Do we pray for others who are suffering? Do YOU in your daily prayers?

·         Chapter 4: The light of the gospel – What does the chapter say is the light? Who is Paul preaching? Who sent the light? Why? What are the earthen vessels? (human beings, like us) Why does God use US to shine His light?

·         Chapter 5: Faith in the Resurrection – What is our earthly house? What is the new creature? What does it mean, “We walk by faith and not by sight.”? Is this easy?

·         Chapter 9: The cheerful giver – For what was Paul commending the Corinthians? Who supplies our needs? What is the reward for stingy giving? For generous giving? How do we measure up – in monetary giving? In giving of our time and talents?

·         Chapter 11: Paul’s qualifications as an apostle – what are some of the qualifications Paul lists for his apostleship? Why is Paul talking such foolishness to the Corinthians?

·         Chapter 12: Paul’s reason for boasting – is Paul’s boast in visions and revelations? What IS Paul’s boast? What’s a thorn in the flesh? While we do not know what Paul’s was (physical weakness, spiritual enemies???), if we search our hearts we might be able to name our own.


      4.   Scripture verse: II Corinthians 1:3-7


      5.    Can the students think of characters in the Bible who suffered from “feel bads”? What about Job, Elijah, David, Peter? Review their stories; does God always promise               us a bed of roses without the thorns?

6. Discuss the emotional life of a teenager: What are some emotions the students experience? What life stresses are they responding to? Can the students share some      experiences in their own lives that made them feel bad? (breaking up with a boy/girl friend, arguing with a parent over the rules, getting a bad grade on a test, being fat/ugly/too tall/too short, moving to a new town, being rejected by a club, not “making the team”, arguing with a friend, etc.)  How do their bodies react to these emotions (stomachaches, headaches, palpitations, fainting, cold sweat, etc.) Is this normal?


7.      How do we deal with the “feel bads” as Christians? Are Christians never supposed to feel bad? How are “feel bads” different for Christians than for non-Christians? Do we feel bad because we have no faith?


8.   Close with prayer.