SETTLE DOWN Andy Hollifield 1-15-19
1 Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
I love this verse because it is one that we can all relate to. The word I want to look at most is the word settle. How many times have we been in trying circumstances when we were torn all to pieces in our hearts; those piercing times, and God has had to settle us down and remind us he is still in control. The word “settle” is in the bible ten times. Four times it is used pertaining to people and three of those speak of God settling us. Speaking about David said in 1 Chronicles 17:14 “But I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom forever…” Ezekiel 36:11 says, “…and I will settle you after your old estates, and will do better unto you than at your beginnings: and ye shall know that I am the Lord.” The third one is where God settles us is in 1 Peter 5:10. In Luke 21:14 Jesus tells his disciples, “Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:” speaking about when they are required to give testimony about their beliefs. He said he would give them a mouth and wisdom that their enemies “shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.”
It is good that God will settle us and bless us more than at our beginning. The thing that blesses me the most is knowing when those times come when things and situations weigh so heavy on our minds that we can’t eat or sleep or think about anything else, God is able to settle us. When you are in that condition, getting settled is a great blessing in itself. One of the definitions of “settle” is to quiet, calm, or bring to rest. One of my other favorite verses is Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” I know I use that verse a lot but that is exactly how God settles us; by giving us peace when it doesn’t make sense that we should have any. Peace is defined as freedom from any strife or dissension and freedom of the mind from annoyance, distraction, anxiety, an obsession, etc… Tranquility or serenity. Sometimes it is hard to find that place but God can put us in it and keep our hearts and minds.
Where we mess up in our thinking as Christians a lot of times is that we think we are supposed to have a trouble-free life after accepting the Lord. Quite the opposite is true. Satan doesn’t bother anybody that isn’t bothering him. If you accept the Lord as your Savior, that means Satan has lost one more soul and that upsets him terribly. He then seeks to destroy you and make you ineffective for the Lord in your spiritual walk. Actually, 1 Peter 5:10 says “…after that ye have suffered a while…” then God begins his work. The next thing the bible says is that he will make you perfect. That doesn’t mean sinless perfection but rather that God will make your heart totally reliant and submitted to him. When we get submitted and reliant, then he can stablish us where he wants us and how he wants us. Once he gets us established, then he strengthens us for the task he has for us.
The bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” In everything, good and bad, we can rest assured that God is working his will in our lives. It isn’t always comfortable. A potter has to mash and spin, cut and shave, sand of the rough edges, and if that wasn’t enough, he then has to put his vessel in the fire. Before he puts it in the fire, he first has to thoroughly dry it. In those dry places in our lives, God is getting out everything that will cause us harm in the fire. We even get very fragile and it seems we will break at nothing. Has anybody ever been to the point where you didn’t think you could take one more thing? Once you go through the fire, you are ready to be decorated and made beautiful. That’s the part where the shine is put on us. You don’t get there until you been molded and put through the fire. Once the shine has been put on, we go through the fire again. But this time we are hardened and beautiful. We are made more durable because of the fire. It is the same in our Christian life. It is in those times under fire that we become durable as Christians and able withstand more of Satan’s fiery darts. Think back to when you were first saved. Some of the things that got you all tore up then are things that are minor annoyances that you breeze through now by God’s grace. That is because you have been in the fire.
Although the times in the fire aren’t comfortable, they are necessary. They toughen us up and get us ready for the next round. God isn’t trying to be mean by putting us through the fire, he is just molding us and getting ready to put us on display. Not only are we put on display here for a lost and dying world, but one day we will be ushered into the city of God and the angels will have to stand back and behold our beauty because we will be the Lamb’s wife. There will be no firing then but we will be the trophies of grace that Christ won for himself when he died on the cross. No, God isn’t being mean and he hasn’t forgotten you; he is just getting us ready to shine. So let God settle you and submit to him. He is trying to make something beautiful out of all of us to present to his Father. Settle down and have a blessed day in the Lord!!!