Paul’s Ministry in Thessalonica
1 Thessalonians 2:1-12
(1) My brothers and sisters, you know that our ministry in Thessalonica (see Acts 17:1-9) was not a failure or without results. (2) As you know, although we had already suffered and been treated terribly in Philippi (see Acts 16:11-40), we had courage in our God to declare the gospel (good news) message to you, even in the face of much opposition.
(3) For our appeal to you did not come out of error or impure (mixed) motives, nor were we trying to deceive you. (4) On the contrary, we speak as messengers who are approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel of Christ. We speak only to please God and not people, because it is God who examines (tests) our hearts. (5) God is our witness—you know we never spoke to you using flattering speech, nor did we wear masks to cover up greed.
(6) Although as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority, we never sought after human praise, whether from you or anyone else. (7) Instead, we acted with gentleness—like young children—toward you. We cared for you like a nursing mother who cares for her own children. (8) Because we loved you so much, we were overjoyed to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our very lives.
(9) My brothers and sisters, surely you remember how hard we labored among you; we worked hard day and night so that we would not be a burden to anyone while we proclaimed the gospel of God to you. (10) God and you are witnesses of how we lived holy, righteous, and blameless lives among all the believers. (11) For you know that we treated each of you just like a father treats his own children—(12) encouraging, comforting, and calling upon you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his majestic, glorious kingdom.
The Persecution of the Thessalonian Church
1 Thessalonians 2:13-16
(13) And we also thank God continuously because, when you heard and received the word of God from us, you accepted it not simply as another teaching of man, but as it truly is, the very word of God, which is active in you who believe.
(14) My brothers and sisters, you became imitators of God’s churches in Judea that are in Jesus Christ, because you suffered persecution from your own people in the same way the Judean churches suffered from the Jews (15) who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out of the land. These persecutors displease (anger) God and are hostile to all people (16) in their effort to keep us from sharing the gospel message with non-Jews so that they can be saved. In this way they continue to pile up their sins to the limit. God’s just judgment has come upon them at last!
Paul’s Desire to Visit Thessalonica
1 Thessalonians 2:17-20
(17) But, my brothers and sisters, when we were forced to leave Thessalonica and were separated from you for a short time—in person but not in heart—out of our intense longing we made every effort to visit you again. (18) For we wanted to come visit you—certainly I, Paul, did, many times—but we have been hindered by Satan. (19) For you are our hope, our joy, and our victor’s crown (wreath) in which we will boast in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes again. (20) Yes, you are our glory and joy!