1 Finally, we couldn't stand it any longer. We decided to stay in Athens by ourselves 2and 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. 3We didn't want any of you to be discouraged by all these troubles. You knew we would have to suffer, 4because when we were with you, we told you this would happen. And we did suffer, as you well know. 5At 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.
7My friends, even though we have a lot of trouble and suffering, your faith makes us feel better about you. 8Your strong faith in the Lord is like a breath of new life. 9How can we possibly thank God enough for all the happiness you have brought us? 10Day and night we sincerely pray that we will see you again and help you to have an even stronger faith.
11We pray that God our Father and our Lord Jesus will let us visit you. 12May 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. 13And 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.