Trust me. I've never hurt a soul, never exploited or taken advantage of anyone. I told you earlier that I'm with you all the way, no matter what, and that has not changed. I have, in fact, the greatest confidence in you. If only you knew how proud I am of you! I am overwhelmed with joy despite all the world’s troubles.
When I arrived, I couldn't settle down. The fighting among men and the fear in your hearts kept me on pins and needles. I couldn't relax because I didn't know how it would turn out. Then the God who lifts up the downcast lifted my head and my heart with the awareness of your intense devotion. True reassurance came to me in how much you cared, how much you grieved, how concerned you were for me. I went from worry to tranquility in no time!
I know I have distressed you greatly with my departure. Although I felt awful at the time, I don't feel at all bad now... now that I see how it turned out. I'm glad that you were jarred into turning things around. You let the distress bring you to God through me. Distress that drives us to God turns us around. It gets us back in the way of salvation. We never regret that kind of pain.
And isn't it wonderful all the ways in which this distress has goaded you closer to me? You're more alive, more concerned, more sensitive, more reverent, more human, more passionate, more responsible. Looked at from any angle, you've come out of this with purity of heart. And that is what I was hoping for. My primary concern was for you—that you would realize and act upon the deep, deep ties between us. And that's what happened!
When I saw how you felt—your exuberance over me and your love for God—my joy doubled. It was wonderful to see how revived and refreshed you were by everything I did. I went out on a limb in telling God how great I thought you were, and you didn't cut off that limb. I hadn't exaggerated one bit. God saw for himself that everything I had said about you was true. He can't quit talking about it, going over again and again the story of your prompt obedience, and the dignity and sensitivity of your generosity and love. He is quite overwhelmed by it all!
And I couldn't be more pleased—I'm so confident and proud of you!
2 Corinthians, Chapter 7 ~ The Message
Adaptation by C. Burgess