1 For yourselves, brothers, know our entering in to you, that it was not in vain. 2 But even after we had suffered before, and were shamefully treated at Phillippi, as you know, we were bold in our God to speak to you the gospel of God with much contention. 3 For our exhortation was not from deceit, nor from impurity, nor in guile, 4 But as we were allowed by God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God, who tries our hearts. 5 For neither at any time did we use flattering words, as you know, nor a cloak of covetousness (God is witness), 6 Nor from men did we seek glory, neither from you, nor yet from others, when we might have asserted authority as the apostles of Christ. 7 But we were gentle among you, even as a nursing mother cherishes her children. 8 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted to you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because you were dear to us.
9 For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil, how, laboring night and day so that we would not be chargeable to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God. 10 You are witnesses, and God also, how holy, justly, and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe, 11 As you know how we exhorted, comforted, and charged each of you, as a father does his children, 12 That you would walk worthy of God, who has called you into his kingdom and glory.
13 For this cause we also thank God without ceasing, because, when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you did not receive it as the word of men, but (as it is in truth) the word of God, which effectually works also in you who believe. 14 For you, brothers, became followers of the churches of God which in Judea are in Christ Jesus. For you also have suffered similar things from your own countrymen, even as they have from the Jews, 15 Who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets and have persecuted us. And they do not please God and are contrary to all men, 16 Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles so that they may be saved—so as to always fill up the measure of their sins. But the wrath has come upon them to the uttermost.
17 But we, brothers, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavored the more abundantly to see your face with great desire. 18 Therefore, we would have come to you, even I, Paul, once and again, but Satan hindered us. 19 For what is our hope, joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are you not even in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? 20 For you are our glory and joy.
[v.1] - "entering in" - See the note for 1st Thessalonians 1:9.
[v.2] - "as you know" - Reference, Acts 16:37.
[v.4] - "who tries our hearts" - Reference, 1st Chronicles 28:9, 29:17; Psalms 7:9; Proverbs 17:3; Jeremiah 11:20, 17:10; Romans 8:27; Revelation 2:23.
[v.7] - "nursing mother" - Literally, "nurse," or a woman that has the care of infants. The Pulpit Commentary states that in this case, nursing mother is more appropriate because the children are the mother's own.