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Read Introduction to 2 Corinthians


2 that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality.


2 that in a great trial of affliction

The churches in Macedonia were generous despite enduring severe suffering and poverty. The word “trial” points to the result of a test; the test of the church’s extreme poverty proved the impact of God’s grace on their lives. The idea of the “trial” is to approve of something. The Macedonians gave under the test of poverty, and they proved the integrity of their Christian living by how much they gave.

the abundance [overflow] of their joy

These churches gave with “joy“; they did not give grudgingly. They experienced “joy” regardless of the circumstances in which they found themselves (Re 2:8-11). They gave out of an abundance or overflow of God’s grace (Ro 5:17).

and their deep poverty

The Macedonian churches were in extreme poverty. They were not only in poverty but in deep poverty.

abounded [overflowed] in the riches of their liberality [generosity].

Although these churches were poor, they displayed overflowing generosity toward others. They were single minded in this regard. They let nothing get in the way of liberal giving (haplotes).


All giving by Christians flows from God’s grace.


The essential idea of “grace” is giving, whether financial or otherwise. It is a disposition to minister to others. It is a dynamic desire to share the things of God with others. Those with a single motive to glorify God give out of their dynamic relationship with God; they do not give from resentment or grudging. They do not give from a token of their resources; they give from the core of their possessions. They offer their resources sometimes out of an ordeal. Confidence that God will supply all our needs frees us to give generously (Php 4:19).