1 For you know, brothers and sisters, that our coming to you has not been ineffective (fruitless, in vain), 2 but after we had already suffered and been outrageously treated in Philippi, as you know, yet in [the strength of] our God we summoned the courage to proclaim boldly to you the good news of God [regarding salvation] amid great opposition. 3 For our appeal does not come from delusion or impure motives, nor [is it motivated] by deceit [our message is complete, accurate, and based on the truth—it does not change]. 4 But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel [that tells the good news of salvation through faith in Christ], so we speak, not as [if we were trying] to please people [to gain power and popularity], but to please God who examines our hearts [expecting our best]. 5 For as you well know, we never came with words of flattery nor with a pretext for greed—God is our witness— 6 nor did we seek glory and honor from people, neither from you nor from anyone else, though as apostles of Christ we had the power to assert our authority. 7 But we behaved gently when we were among you, like a devoted mother tenderly caring for her own children. 8 Having such a deep affection for you, we (a)were delighted to share with you not only God’s good news but also our own lives, because you had become so very dear to us.
9 For you remember, (b)believers, our labor and hardship. We worked night and day [practicing our trade] in order not to be a [financial] burden to any of you while we proclaimed the gospel of God to you. 10 You are witnesses, and so is God, how unworldly and just and blameless was our behavior toward you who believe [in our Lord Jesus Christ]. 11 For you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you just as a father does [in dealing with] his own children, [guiding you] 12 to live lives [of honor, moral courage, and personal integrity] worthy of the God who [saves you and] calls you into His own kingdom and glory.
13 And we also thank God continually for this, that when you received the word of God [concerning salvation] which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of [mere] men, but as it truly is, the word of God, which is effectually at work in you who believe [exercising its inherent, supernatural power in those of faith]. 14 For you, (c)brothers and sisters, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, because you too suffered the same [kind of] persecution from your own countrymen, as they did from the Jews, 15 who (d)killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and harassed and drove us out; and [they] continue to be highly displeasing to God and [to show themselves] hostile to all people, 16 forbidding us from speaking to the Gentiles (non-Jews) so that they may be saved. So, as always, they fill up [to the brim] the measure of their sins [allotted to them by God]. But [God’s] wrath has come upon them at last [completely and forever].(A)
17 But since we were taken away from you, believers, for a little while—in person, but not in heart—we endeavored, with great longing to see you face to face. 18 For we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again [wanted to come], but Satan hindered us. 19 For who is [the object of] our hope or joy or our victor’s wreath of triumphant celebration [when we stand] in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? Is it not you? 20 For you are [indeed] our glory and our joy!
a. 1 Thessalonians 2:8: Or resolved to.
b. 1 Thessalonians 2:9: Lit brethren.
c. 1 Thessalonians 2:14: Lit brethren.
d. 1 Thessalonians 2:15: Jesus Christ willingly gave up His life for our salvation by allowing Himself to be tortured and killed.