1. When we could not bear it any longer, we decided it would be best to be left without a companion at Athens,
2. and sent our brother Timothy, who is God's helper in spreading the gospel of Christ, to keep you firm and encourage you about your faith
3. and prevent any of you from being unsettled by the present hardships. As you know, these are bound to come our way:
4. indeed, when we were with you, we warned you that we are certain to have hardships to bear, and that is what has happened now, as you have found out.
5. That is why, when I could not bear it any longer, I sent to assure myself of your faith: I was afraid the Tester might have put you to the test, and all our work might have been pointless.
6. However, Timothy has returned from you and has given us good news of your faith and your love, telling us that you always remember us with pleasure and want to see us quite as much as we want to see you.
7. And so, brothers, your faith has been a great encouragement to us in the middle of our own distress and hardship;
8. now we can breathe again, as you are holding firm in the Lord.
9. How can we thank God enough for you, for all the joy we feel before our God on your account?
10. We are earnestly praying night and day to be able to see you face to face again and make up any shortcomings in your faith.
11. May God our Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, ease our path to you.
12. May the Lord increase and enrich your love for each other and for all, so that it matches ours for you.
13. And may he so confirm your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless in the sight of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.