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.
Since we were forced to leave you, being driven out by the Jewish persecutors in Thessalonica, we have been left longing to see you once again. Know that even though we have been separated from you in person, you remain affectionately in our hearts. For this reason, we endeavored with eagerness and great desire to come to you again. I personally attempted to come multiple times, but Satan hindered us.
After all, it is you who are our hope, and joy, and crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming. Even now, you are our glory and our joy. Therefore, when I could not bear being apart from you any longer, I sent Timothy (our brother and God’s co-worker in the gospel of Christ) to you. I was willing for Timothy to leave me alone in Athens if it meant that he could help you to become established in your faith and to encourage you in it.
The reason it was so important to me that your faith be settled and strengthened is so that you could endure the afflictions that you are experiencing, without wavering. You know that we are destined to suffer these kinds of afflictions because when we were with you, we kept telling you so.
For this reason, I could not bear to continue in ignorance regarding your faith. I had to know if you were remaining faithful or if you had succumbed to the tempter, making our labour among you in vain.
But now Timothy has just arrived here with a report of good news concerning your faith and love. He has told us that you always remember us kindly and that you long to see us, just as we long to see you. Having heard this good news regarding your faith, we have now been comforted about you – even in the midst of all our distress and affliction. This news has reinvigorated us, removing the fear and concern which had concerning you. Afterall, it is not the removal of distress or affliction that brings us life, but knowing that you are remaining steadfast in your faith in the Lord.
We are so overwhelmed with joy concerning you that when we pray to thank God concerning you, which we do earnestly, night and day, words escape us. We pray that we could see you face to face and be able to supply to you what is lacking from your faith.
Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for everyone, as we do for you. In so doing, he will establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with his saints.