As you yourselves know, brothers and sisters, our visit with you wasn't a waste of time.
On the contrary, we had the courage through God to speak God's good news in spite of a lot of opposition, although we had already suffered and were publicly insulted, as you know.
Our appeal isn't based on false information, the wrong motives, or deception.
Rather, we have been examined and approved by God to be trusted with the good news, and that's exactly how we speak. We aren't trying to please people, but we are trying to please God, who continues to examine our hearts.
As you know, we never used flattery, and God is our witness that we didn't have greedy motives.
We didn't ask for special treatment from people—not from you or from others—
although we could have thrown our weight around as Christ's apostles. Instead, we were gentle with you like a nursing mother caring for her own children.
We were glad to share not only God's good news with you but also our very lives because we cared for you so much.
You remember, brothers and sisters, our efforts and hard work. We preached God's good news to you, while we worked night and day so we wouldn't be a burden on any of you.
You and God are witnesses of how holy, just, and blameless we were toward you believers.
Likewise, you know how we treated each of you like a father treats his own children.
We appealed to you, encouraged you, and pleaded with you to live lives worthy of the God who is calling you into his own kingdom and glory.
We also thank God constantly for this: when you accepted God's word that you heard from us, you welcomed it for what it truly is. Instead of accepting it as a human message, you accepted it as God's message, and it continues to work in you who are believers.
Brothers and sisters, you became imitators of the churches of God in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus. This was because you also suffered the same things from your own people as they did from the Jews.
They killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets and drove us out. They don't please God, and they are hostile to the entire human race
when they try to stop us from speaking to the Gentiles so they can be saved. Their sins are constantly pushing the limit. God's wrath has caught up with them in the end.
Brothers and sisters, we were separated from you for a while physically but not in our hearts. We made every effort in our desire to see you again face-to-face.
We wanted to come to you—I, Paul, tried over and over again—and Satan stopped us.
What is our hope, joy, or crown that we can brag about in front of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Isn't it all of you?
You are our glory and joy!