Paul's Work for God in Thessalonica
1Brothers and sisters, you know that our visit to you was not a failure. 2You know what happened earlier in the city of Philippi. We suffered, and people treated us badly there. But God gave us the boldness to tell you his good news. We preached to you even though people opposed us strongly.
3The appeal we make is based on truth. It comes from a pure heart. We are not trying to trick you. 4In fact, it is just the opposite. God has accepted us to preach. He has trusted us with the good news. We aren't trying to please people. We want to please God. He puts our hearts to the test.
5As you know, we never praised you if we didn't mean it. We didn't put on a mask to cover up any sinful longing. God is our witness that this is true. 6We were not expecting people to praise us. We were not looking for praise from you or anyone else.
As Christ's apostles, we could have caused you some expense. 7But we were gentle among you. We were like a mother caring for her little children. 8We loved you so much that we were happy to share with you God's good news. We were also happy to share our lives with you. You had become very special to us.
9Brothers and sisters, I am sure you remember how hard we worked. We labored night and day while we preached to you God's good news. We didn't want to cause you any expense.
10You are witnesses of how we lived among you believers. God is also a witness that we were holy and godly and without blame. 11You know that we treated each of you as a father treats his own children.
12We gave you hope and strength. We comforted you. We really wanted you to live in a way that is worthy of God. He chooses you to enter his glorious kingdom.
13We never stop thanking God for the way you received his word. You heard it from us. But you didn't accept it as a human word. You accepted it for what it really is. It is God's word. It is at work in you who believe.
14Brothers and sisters, you became like the members of God's churches in Judea. They are believers in Christ Jesus, just as you are. People in your own country made you suffer. You went through the same things the church members in Judea suffered from the Jews.
15The Jews who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets also forced us to leave. They do not please God. They are enemies of everyone. 16They try to keep us from speaking to those who aren't Jews. The Jews don't want them to be saved. In that way, the Jews always increase their sins to the limit. God's anger has come on them at last.
Paul Longs to See the Believers in Thessalonica
17Brothers and sisters, we were torn away from you for a short time. We were no longer with you in person, but we kept you in our thoughts. We really longed to see you. So we tried very hard to do so. 18We wanted to come to you. Again and again I, Paul, wanted to come. But Satan stopped us.
19What is our hope? What is our joy? When our Lord Jesus returns, what is the crown we will delight in? Isn't it you? 20Yes, you are our glory and our joy.