Paul Remembers When He Was with the Thessalonians
1 You know, brothers and sisters, that our time with you was not wasted. 2 As you know, we suffered rough and insulting treatment in Philippi. But our God gave us the courage to tell you his Good News in spite of strong opposition.
3 When we encouraged you, we didn’t use unethical schemes, corrupt practices, or deception. 4 Rather, we are always spreading the Good News. God trusts us to do this because we passed his test. We don’t try to please people but God, who tests our motives. 5 As you know, we never used flattery or schemes to make money. God is our witness! 6 We didn’t seek praise from people, from you or from anyone else, 7 although as apostles of Christ we had the right to do this.
Instead, we were gentle when we were with you, like a mother taking care of her children. 8 We felt so strongly about you that we were determined to share with you not only the Good News of God but also our lives. That’s how dear you were to us! 9 You remember, brothers and sisters, our work and what we did to earn a living. We worked night and day so that we could bring you the Good News of God without being a burden to any of you. 10 You and God are witnesses of how pure, honest, and blameless we were in our dealings with you believers. 11 You know very well that we treated each of you the way a father treats his children. We comforted you and encouraged you. Yet, we insisted that 12 you should live in a way that proves you belong to the God who calls you into his kingdom and glory.
Paul Remembers How the Thessalonians Received the Word of God
13 Here is another reason why we never stop thanking God: When you received God’s word from us, you realized it wasn’t the word of humans. Instead, you accepted it for what it really is—the word of God. This word is at work in you believers.
14 You, brothers and sisters, were like the churches of God in Judea that are united with Christ Jesus. You suffered the same persecutions from the people of your own country as those churches did from the Jews 15 who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and who have persecuted us severely. They are displeasing to God. They are enemies of the whole human race 16 because they try to keep us from telling people who are not Jewish how they can be saved. The result is that those Jews always commit as many sins as possible. So at last they are receiving ⌊God’s⌋ anger.
17 Brothers and sisters, we have been separated from you for a little while. Although we may not be able to see you, you’re always in our thoughts. We have made every possible effort to fulfill our desire to see you. 18 We wanted to visit you. I, Paul, wanted to visit you twice already, but Satan made that impossible.
19 Who is our hope, joy, or prize that we can brag about in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Isn’t it you? 20 You are our glory and joy!