1 Finally, we couldn't stand it any longer. We decided to stay in Athens by ourselves 2 and send our friend Timothy to you. He works with us as God's servant and preaches the good news about Christ. We wanted him to make you strong in your faith and to encourage you. 3 We didn't want any of you to be discouraged by all these troubles. You knew we would have to suffer, 4 because when we were with you, we told you this would happen. And we did suffer, as you well know. 5 At last, when I could not wait any longer, I sent Timothy to find out about your faith. I hoped Satan had not tempted you and made all our work useless.
6 Timothy has now come back from his visit with you and has told us about your faith and love. He also said that you always have happy memories of us and that you want to see us as much as we want to see you.
7 My friends, even though we have a lot of trouble and suffering, your faith makes us feel better about you. 8 Your strong faith in the Lord is like a breath of new life. 9 How can we possibly thank God enough for all the happiness you have brought us? 10 Day and night we sincerely pray that we will see you again and help you to have an even stronger faith.
11 We pray that God our Father and our Lord Jesus will let us visit you. 12 May the Lord make your love for each other and for everyone else grow by leaps and bounds. This is how our love for you has grown. 13 And when our Lord comes with all his people, I pray he will make your hearts pure and innocent in the sight of God the Father.
© Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®) © 2006 American Bible Society. All rights reserved.