And you who are younger must follow your leaders. But all of you, leaders and followers alike, are to be down to earth with each other, for - God has had it with the proud, But takes delight in just plain people.
So be content with who you are, and don't put on airs. God's strong hand is on you; he'll promote you at the right time.
Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.
Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping.
Keep your guard up. You're not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It's the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith.
The suffering won't last forever. It won't be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ - eternal and glorious plans they are! - will have you put together and on your feet for good.
He gets the last word; yes, he does.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)