How to Cope when you are Unsettled
Have you been in a season of life where you just can’t see the end from the beginning? Have you felt like you will never swim again as you struggle to the surface to breath? Do you desire and long to be settled?
I've been there, my friends. In numerous seasons of life. I've been there, and I want to tell you that the only way to conquer those unsettled feelings is to turn to the wisdom of the Word and see who we are in Christ and in Him find our direction.
Join me for a quick study 1 Peter 5:6-10 . . . specifically, verse 10.
But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. (I Peter 5:10)
Okay, Peter, so what you are telling me is that Suffering <leads to> Settled? Oh no . . . don’t tell me that! I don’t want any more suffering! Lord, can’t you just snap your fingers and let me out of this merry-go-round? No more suffering!
History of 1 Peter.
The Book of 1 Peter was written by the apostle Peter. Most scholars believe it was written in Rome sometime between AD 62-67. Here are some facts regarding the historical context of this book.
The city of Rome was burned and the Romans believed that their emperor, Nero, had set the city on fire.
The Romans were totally devastated in every way. Their culture, religion, lifestyles, households and even their families were burned up.
The people were homeless and hopeless. Many had been killed. Their bitter resentment was severe, so Nero realized that he had to redirect the hostility.
The emperor’s chosen scapegoat was the Christians, who were already hated. Nero spread the word quickly that the Christians had set the fires. As a result, a vicious persecution against the Christians began, and soon spread throughout the Roman Empire. Many Christians, referred to by Peter as “pilgrims” left their homes for their own safety. Many did not come out alive as they were brutally murdered by Nero’s empire.
I Peter was writing to these Christian “pilgrims”. They needed spiritual strengthening because of their sufferings. Thus Peter, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote this epistle to strengthen them.
We may never understand what our Christian brothers and sisters were feeling in those days but I can bet they felt homeless, helpless, and hopeless.
Homeless . . . . Helpless . . . . Hopeless.
We’ve all been there.
Homeless - unsettled in your place in life.
You can not “lay your head” on an idea or a decision. You can’t “unpack your bags” for fear that another persecution is right around the corner. You are “homeless” - without a place to rest - as a result of being unsettled.
And then God speaks . . . My daughter, maybe I have you in a homeless state so you can establish a new home - one better than you had before.
Helpless - unsettled in the fact that you can not do anything about your situation.
You have tried so hard to fix where you are. You have prayed, fasted, sought The Lord, worshiped, praised, cried, pleaded, and begged. You have rearranged your home, changed your hair, got new clothes, lost weight, gained weight, started a new job, done the therapy, Bible studies, and prayer walks. And guess what? Nothing has worked. You feel helpless to changing this situation and as a result . . . unsettled.
And then God speaks . . . My daughter, maybe you feel helpless because I have you in this place for a purpose. Believe it or not, you can't pray your way out of some situations. Some seasons, you just have to hold my hand and walk through. Moses didn't take the people over or around the Red Sea, He carried them THROUGH it.
Hopeless - being so unsettled in the current season of your life that you see no hope for it to change.
Like your early Christian brothers and sisters, you have watched the life you knew burn around you. You have experienced terrible things and have been victim to people’s anger, abuse, lies, and deceit. You have felt hopeless; like this season will go on forever. Maybe you don’t dream or hope for the future because it’s not worth it. You know God has given you a hope and a future, but right now, you are so weary you can’t see it, you can’t hope for it . . . because you are unsettled.
And then God speaks . . . My daughter, would you be brave enough to dream with me? Would you find the courage inside of you to hope with me? Would you look to the sunrise of your new day with me? Don't give up. Whatever you do, don't give up hope.
Now before you look at me and say, “Erika, your blog is to encourage us in our faith not defeat us, right?” let me say one thing. In this Homeless, Helpless, Hopeless season you may be walking in, know that God is right beside you even if it doesn’t feel like it.
If you are in a season of unsettling, know that God has given us the answer on how to cope with this season. You see, He knows seasons like this will come in and out of our lives and He, in His grace and mercy, has given us tools to help us through.
1. You are called to glory.
If we go back to 1 Peter 5:10, Peter tells us that God has called us to eternal glory. You were not called to an unsettled life. Sure, that may be a part of the life you are leading, but dear friend, you are just passing through this time. It will pass. It will end. And at the end of it will be GLORY.
The Greek Word for "glory" in this passage is doxa which is translated as honor, praise, and worship.
My dear friend, you are called to honor. You are not called to be homeless, helpless, and hopeless. You are called to honor and my friend, you will worship again. You will praise again. You will sing again. Just give this season to The Chief Musician and let Him orchestrate the mess into your symphony.
2. He will perfect you.
I looked up the word "perfect" in this passage and found the Greek word was katartizō which means to complete thoroughly, to repair (literally and figuratively), to mend, to make perfect, to restore.
In this time of unsettling, I pray that we can find hope in the fact that God is mending us right now. In this time of suffering, he is completing us THOROUGHLY. Not just a little bit, but He is fixing us completely.
He is restoring us in this unsettling season and He is putting us back together again; picking up the broken pieces and mending us.
3. He is establishing and strengthening you.
The Greek, in this case, is stērizō. Which is translated “to stand, to make stable, to turn in a certain direction.
Can someone say HALLELUJAH!!!
He is establishing you in this time of uncertainty and giving you the strength to handle it at the same time. I know it doesn’t feel like it. It feels like we are wandering. It feels like we are falling apart. It feels like we have no purpose or direction. We feel weak and weary.
But you know what? THOSE ARE ONLY EMOTIONS & FEELINGS and feelings and emotions lie to us all the time!
The Word of God never lies. So while we may feel those things, we can rest in knowing that our Heavenly Father is putting things back together again. He is causing you to stand. He is making you stable. He is turning you in the direction He wants you to go.
He is giving you a new purpose and a new direction as He establishes you and gives you strength for the journey!
4. He is settling you.
The Greek word for “setting” is themelioō which means “to lay a foundation”. Like the fires of Rome back in the time of Nero, God has to tear down anything that is not Him in order to build up everything that is Him. It hurts. It isn’t pretty. It isn’t fun. But it is absolutely necessary.
God is settling us and building a new foundation out of our lives. One that is stronger than before. One that is hopefully built on Him, the Solid Rock..
. . . a little while . . .
In my years of unsettling, I found hope and peace in I Peter 5:10. In the final part of this verse Peter writes, “After you have suffered a little while."
My friends, this suffering we are going through is not going to last forever It is only here for a little while.
I don't know when you will be settled or established. I don't know how long it will take for you to be perfected. But I do know that it won't be forever that you will deal with suffering. Just for a little while.
Hold on dear sisters. Hold on.
You have been called to glory.
You are being perfected and established.
You are being strengthened.
Our suffering is only here for a little while . . .
And we are on our way to becoming. . . .
All My Love . . . Erika 💛
Your Turn: I'd love to hear about how you got through your unsettling seasons or what kind of unsettling you are going through today in the comments below.