For even when we were with you, [you know] we warned you plainly beforehand that we were to be pressed with difficulties and made to suffer affliction, just as to your own knowledge it has [since] happened.
And so at length, when the separation became intolerable, we thought the best plan was for me to stay in Athens alone, while Timothy, our brother and fellow-worker in the Gospel of Christ, was sent to strengthen and encourage you in your faith. We did not want any of you to lose heart at the troubles you were going through, but to realise that we Christians must expect such things. Actually we did warn you what to expect, when we were with you, and our words have come true, as you know. You will understand that, when the suspense became unbearable, I sent someone to find out how your faith was standing the strain, and to make sure that the tempter’s activities had not destroyed our work.
Not that the troubles should come as any surprise to you. You’ve always known that we’re in for this kind of thing. It’s part of our calling. When we were with you, we made it quite clear that there was trouble ahead. And now that it’s happened, you know what it’s like. That’s why I couldn’t quit worrying; I had to know for myself how you were doing in the faith. I didn’t want the Tempter getting to you and tearing down everything we had built up together.
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