“We are glad whenever we are weak but you are strong; and our prayer is that you may be fully restored.”
2 Corinthians 13:9 (NIV)
When studying this chapter of 2 Corinthians, verse 9 just wouldn’t stop grabbing my attention.
In the previous verses, Paul essentially said to the church at Corinth, “I’m planning my third visit to you. I’m upset about how you are being so reckless with so great a salvation. You’re not weak, even though you’re acting like it. And I have no doubt about what is planted in you. I know it’s a strong salvation because I know what I preached. And despite my weakness as a person or the weakness of my proclamation to you, I know that my weakness was not enough to stop the strength of God’s redemptive work to dig deep roots in you. I might be weak, but God is strong.”
Paul is saying, “I know that I’m feeble, but I know the strength of my God. And because of this, I know you have it in you (and I’m praying for you) to fight for it. I need you to fight for your redemption, fight for your salvation, fight for the integrity of your faith—because it’s worth it. You are given grace to fight for it, and I’m praying that you will, so that you can experience what life is like when you’ve been fully restored.”
That word “restored” implies in this text that God can bring you back. Back to what? Back to the perfect state when salvation rested its redemptive power in your life. You can be fully restored to wholeness, brought back to maturity, reestablished to complete order.
What Paul prays for believers in Corinth is what Jesus offers to each one of us: a chance to come back from all the draining debilitating attachments to our lives that suck the energy from us and drag on our emotions and pull on our focus and tear at our enthusiasm. Paul says, “If you anchor back into the centrality of your faith in Jesus Christ, you don’t have to walk around drained. You don’t have to feel the drag on your emotions. You can focus again on your spiritual enthusiasm because our God is a God who can fully restore you.”
You can walk squarely into this season of your life despite the drain and drag of last season. God never wants you fragile, on the fringes, or shaky about your faith. He wants us solid in the center of His will, steady about our spiritual convictions.