Finally, when we could stand it no longer, we decided that I should stay alone in Athens,
and we sent Timothy to visit you. He is our co-worker for God and our brother in proclaiming the Good News of Christ. We sent him to strengthen you, to encourage you in your faith,
and to keep you from becoming disturbed by the troubles you were going through. But, of course, you know that such troubles are going to happen to us Christians.
Even while we were with you, we warned you that troubles would soon come -- and they did, as you well know.
That is why, when I could bear it no longer, I sent Timothy to find out whether your faith was still strong. I was afraid that the Tempter had gotten the best of you and that all our work had been useless.
Now Timothy has just returned, bringing the good news that your faith and love are as strong as ever. He reports that you remember our visit with joy and that you want to see us just as much as we want to see you.
So we have been greatly comforted, dear brothers and sisters, a in all of our own crushing troubles and suffering, because you have remained strong in your faith.
It gives us new life, knowing you remain strong in the Lord.
How we thank God for you! Because of you we have great joy in the presence of God.
Night and day we pray earnestly for you, asking God to let us see you again to fill up anything that may still be missing in your faith.
May God himself, our Father, and our Lord Jesus make it possible for us to come to you very soon.
And may the Lord make your love grow and overflow to each other and to everyone else, just as our love overflows toward you.
As a result, Christ will make your hearts strong, blameless, and holy when you stand before God our Father on that day when our Lord Jesus comes with all those who belong to him.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)