I, Paul, together with Silas and Timothy, greet the church of the Thessalonian Christians in the name of God our Father and our Master, Jesus Christ.
Our God gives you everything you need, makes you everything you're to be.
You need to know, friends, that thanking God over and over for you is not only a pleasure; it's a must. We have to do it. Your faith is growing phenomenally; your love for each other is developing wonderfully. Why, it's only right that we give thanks.
We're so proud of you; you're so steady and determined in your faith despite all the hard times that have come down on you. We tell everyone we meet in the churches all about you.
All this trouble is a clear sign that God has decided to make you fit for the kingdom. You're suffering now,
but justice is on the way. When the Master Jesus appears out of heaven in a blaze of fire with his strong angels, he'll even up the score by settling accounts with those who gave you such a bad time.
His coming will be the break we've been waiting for.
Those who refuse to know God and refuse to obey the Message will pay for what they've done.
Eternal exile from the presence of the Master and his splendid power is their sentence.
But on that very same day when he comes, he will be exalted by his followers and celebrated by all who believe - and all because you believed what we told you.
Because we know that this extraordinary day is just ahead, we pray for you all the time - pray that our God will make you fit for what he's called you to be, pray that he'll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy so that it all amounts to something.
If your life honors the name of Jesus, he will honor you. Grace is behind and through all of this, our God giving himself freely, the Master, Jesus Christ, giving himself freely.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)