The following is a personal paraphrase meant to illustrate how a student of the Bible might put the scriptures into their own words in order to better understand the text. As such, some liberties are taken in wording.
Paul, Silas and Timothy were very thankful for the church at Thessalonica. This thankfulness led them to constantly pray for the church. The cause of their thankfulness was the abundant fruit which the church had shown, indicating that their ministry of the word in Thessalonica was effective.
When they preached the gospel in Thessalonica, it did not come across as mere words, but as a message empowered by the Holy Spirit. It was preached by the Apostles with full conviction and was received as such by the Thessalonians. The Thessalonians were fully convinced that the gospel was indeed the word of God.
As a result, the word was fruitful in their lives. This new church exhibited genuine faith and love which drove them to labour. In addition, they set their hope (steadfastly) on the Lord Jesus Christ and his coming.
The fact that the Thessalonians received the gospel with joy, leading to fruit of faith, hope and love was clear evidence to Paul that the Holy Spirit had empowered the ministry of the word there and that these converts were genuine. They were those who were loved by God and chosen.
There was further evidence as to the genuineness of the Thessalonian’s conversion. The Thessalonians faced opposition towards their conversion to Christ yet, even in the midst of this affliction, they received the word with joy.
In receiving the word joyfully in the midst of affliction, they were following the example of the Apostles and of Christ (both of whom suffered for the sake of the word). In following the example of the Apostles and Christ this way, they became a positive example to all the believers in their surrounding region. The word of the Lord and word of their faith sounded forth from them into Macedonia, Achaia and everywhere. So much so, that the Apostles did not need to say anything – the abundant fruit was clear evidence of the success of the ministry of the Word in Thessalonica and the genuineness of their faith. Everyone came to understand that the Thessalonians had turned from their dead idols, to serve the living and true God and to set their hope upon Jesus Christ, his coming and his deliverance of them from the wrath to come.