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. Chapter 3.

1 So when we could bear it no longer, we decided to remain alone at Athens, 2 and sent Timothy, our brother and God's fellow-worker [Or: and fellow-worker for God; One witness has simply: and fellow-worker.] in the service of the gospel of Christ, to encourage you to stand firm for the faith 3 and, under all these hardships, not to be shaken; [Or: beguiled away.] for you know that this is our appointed lot. 4 When we were with you we warned you that we were bound to suffer hardship; and so it has turned out, as you know. 5 And thus it was that when I could bear it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith, fearing that the tempter might have tempted you and my labour might be lost.

6 But now Timothy has just arrived from Thessalonica, bringing good news of your faith and love. He tells us that you always think kindly of us, and are as anxious to see us as we are to see you. 7 And so in all our difficulties and hardships your faith reassures us about you. 8 It is the breath of life to us that you stand firm in the Lord. 9 What thanks can we return to God for you? What thanks for all the joy you have brought us, making us rejoice before our God 10 while we pray most earnestly night and day to be allowed to see you again and to mend your faith where it falls short?

11 May our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, bring us direct to you; 12 and may the Lord make your love mount and overflow towards one another and towards all, as our love does towards you. 13 May he make your hearts firm, so that you may stand before our God and Father holy and faultless when our Lord Jesus comes with all those who are his own.

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