Paul’s ministry in Thessalonica
1As you yourselves know, brothers and sisters, our visit with you wasn’t a waste of time. 2On the contrary, we had the courage through God to speak God’s good news in spite of a lot of opposition, although we had already suffered and were publicly insulted in Philippi, as you know. 3Our appeal isn’t based on false information, the wrong motives, or deception. 4Rather, we have been examined and approved by God to be trusted with the good news, and that’s exactly how we speak. We aren’t trying to please people, but we are trying to please God, who continues to examine our hearts. 5As you know, we never used flattery, and God is our witness that we didn’t have greedy motives. 6We didn’t ask for special treatment from people—not from you or from others—7although we could have thrown our weight around as Christ’s apostles. Instead, we were gentle with you like a nursing mother caring for her own children. 8We were glad to share not only God’s good news with you but also our very lives because we cared for you so much. 9You remember, brothers and sisters, our efforts and hard work. We preached God’s good news to you, while we worked night and day so we wouldn’t be a burden on any of you. 10You and God are witnesses of how holy, just, and blameless we were toward you believers. 11Likewise, you know how we treated each of you like a father treats his own children. 12We appealed to you, encouraged you, and pleaded with you to live lives worthy of the God who is calling you into his own kingdom and glory.
How the Thessalonians received God’s message
13We also thank God constantly for this: when you accepted God’s word that you heard from us, you welcomed it for what it truly is. Instead of accepting it as a human message, you accepted it as God’s message, and it continues to work in you who are believers. 14Brothers and sisters, you became imitators of the churches of God in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus. This was because you also suffered the same things from your own people as they did from the Jews. 15They killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets and drove us out. They don’t please God, and they are hostile to the entire human race 16when they try to stop us from speaking to the Gentiles so they can be saved. Their sins are constantly pushing the limit.#Or They constantly fill up the measure of their sin. God’s wrath has caught up with them in the end.
Paul’s desire to visit
17Brothers and sisters, we were separated from you for a while physically but not in our hearts. We made every effort in our desire to see you again face-to-face. 18We wanted to come to you—I, Paul, tried over and over again—and Satan stopped us. 19What is our hope, joy, or crown that we can brag about in front of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Isn’t it all of you? 20You are our glory and joy!