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1AND so when the separation became intolerable, we thought the best plan was for us to stay at Athens alone,

2while we sent Timothy, our brother and God's fellowworker in the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith.

3We did not want any of you to lose heart at the troubles you were going through, but to realize that we must expect such things.

4Actually we did warn you what to expect, when we were with you, and our words have come true, as you know.

5You will understand that, when the suspense became unbearable, I sent to find out how your faith was standing the strain, and to make sure that the tempter's activities had not destroyed our work.

6Timothy has just come straight from you to us, with a glowing account of your faith and love, and definite news that you cherish happy memories of us and long to see us as much as we to see you.

7This has cheered us, my brothers, in all the miseries and troubles we ourselves are going through.

8To know that you are standing fast in the Lord is indeed a breath of life to us.

9How can we thank our God enough for you, and for all the joy you have brought in the presence of our God,

10as we pray earnestly day and night to see you face to face again, and to complete whatever is imperfect in your faith?

11So may God our Father himself and our Lord Jesus guide our steps to you.

12May the Lord give you the same increasing and overflowing love for each other and towards all men as we have towards you.

13May he establish you, holy and blameless in heart and soul, before God, the Father of us all, when our Lord Jesus comes with all who belong to him.

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