Using Our Suffering

Posted in Uncategorized on May 1, 2010 by jdgisler

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”  2 Cor. 1:3-5

I read these verses today in my Bible reading plan, and was really struck by them.  First is that God is the God of ALL comfort.  Every comfort comes from Him, and so it is silly for me to try and run anywhere else to be comforted.  So often I run to friends, family, work or anything else when I am hurting or struggling with something, when the answer is right in front of me.

The second thing I noticed was that the goal of the suffering and the comfort we receive really isn’t about us, it’s about helping others: “who comforts us in all our affliction, SO that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction.”  How cool is it that God not only comforts us when we are struggling, but also allows us to use our experience to helps others.  I don’t want to sit and pity myself, because the Lord is somehow going to use my experiences to help and benefit others!

Lastly, in the footnotes for my Bible the last verse is restated like this: “For as the sufferings of Christ abound for us, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”  This helps me to see that Christ suffered so much for me.  It says his sufferings “abound” for us!  So because of this, I can receive comfort through Him; what a promise!  And the best part is, this is by no merit of my own.  The only way I can receive comfort is through Christ, who made that available through His suffering!  What a good God we serve!

In Spite of Me

Posted in Gospel, Thoughts on April 28, 2010 by jdgisler

The Lord works in spite of me and my struggles…I feel like I have been learning that a lot lately.  What kind of God uses all my mess ups and mistakes for my good?  What does that tell me about Him?

I think it tells me that He loves me.  A lot!  He takes my doubt, and turns it into a grace in my life.  He takes my faithlessness, and turns it into opportunities to learn about His faithfulness.  He takes my fears, and turns into a chance to learn about trust.  Why am I so blessed that He would do this for me?  The only answer is love.  And the most pure example of this love is Jesus dying on the cross.  As He hung on the tree, he knew I would doubt, be faithless and fearful.  And yet, He chose to die for my sins anyway, because He loves me!

What a privilege to belong to a God that loves me so much!

Clue #5

Posted in Uncategorized on April 23, 2010 by jdgisler

This really isn’t a new post, though I do need to do another one soon…all this is to provide another clue.  Yup, the clue is “Frantically calling for reservations, unable to make it work.”

Reppin’ Tim Tebow

Posted in Quotes, Thoughts on December 10, 2009 by jdgisler

I’m just going to be honest and admit that I’m sick of Christians making fun of Tim Tebow, especially in some of the circles I run in.  Sure, he may wear Phil. 4:13 on his eye black, and he may even use it out of context, but at least he is in some way showing he is a Christian.  There are so many Christians out there who are afraid to rep Jesus (I am often one of them) and here is a young man on the national stage who uses the platform he has been given to show that he loves Jesus.  Instead of making fun of him, we should fully support and encourage him.  And when he is interviewed, he doesn’t shy away from his beliefs, as seen by these two quotes (thanks Chuck):

“Through everything that I do in football, in school, in living, I want people to see that in me,” Tebow said. “I don’t want to be just another guy who’s walking down the street. I want when people see me they say, ‘hey, there’s something different about this guy, and that’s because he has a relationship with Jesus Christ.’”

“Obviously I’m emotional, as you can see, after games, and it means a lot to me. But at the end of the day it’s not really what matters. We’re playing a game. Although it is extremely important and it’s fun, and we put hours and days and weeks into it, it’s still just a game.”

After reading those quotes, I knew I had to write this post.  I have the utmost respect for Tebow, both as an athlete and a person.  He unlike many atheletes, puts Jesus first, and is happy to do it.  What an example that should be for the rest of us, and the platforms we have been given.  Tim Tebow, though you will probably never read this, thank you for using the stage you have been giving to glorify our Savior Jesus Christ!  Keep up the good work!

Tim Tebow

Being Sick

Posted in Soap Box, Thoughts on October 16, 2009 by jdgisler

I haven’t posted for a while, but part of that has to do with me being sick, and starting work.  This past week I started training at the Hartford, but had a sore throat, runny nose, cough, and pink eye.  Yeah, I was a real treat to be around.  But after moping around for a while, I realized how dumb I was being.  I was reminded of  David Brainerd, a guy Charlie talked about in one of his Skool Klass talks.  To the layperson, Brainerd lived a real difficult life.  He was always sick, throwing up blood and all sorts of other great conditions, had little to no warmth during the cold winter months, all while ministering to a group of people that he struggled to love.  Oh, and did I mention that he died at a young age?

And yet through all that, Brainerd persevered and considered to minister.  And here I am complaining about some sniffles and some goofy looking eyeballs.  I was reminded again how little I believe in the privilege mentality.  I think I deserve perfect health all the time.  But I was never promised health, and who am I to think that being healthy would also make me happy?  I was given all I needed when Jesus died for me, and because of that, I have the promise of eternity.  I would say that once I realize that, this sickness seems like nothing.

Reading Fiction

Posted in Books, Gospel on September 21, 2009 by jdgisler

Lately I have been reading the Circle Series by Ted Dekker, which is an excellent three book series I am reading for the second time.  I am reading them again partly because they are very good, and partly because Dekker has written a fourth book for the series, entitled Green, so I want to refresh my memory.

The four book seriesI highly recommend these books because Dekker has the ability to intertwine the Gospel within these fiction tales.  For someone like me, who so often becomes cold to the Gospel message, a book like this not only reminds me of how powerful the message is, but truly how much I am loved.  These books are not only entertaining at face value, because Ted Dekker is such an excellent writer, but because it paints the Gospel message in a new in different way which stirs the affections in my heart for Jesus.

For me, reading Christian nonfiction all the time just doesn’t work.  I don’t get excited for Jesus as I should.  But having some variety in my reading is awesome!  It allows me to be reminded of the power of the Gospel in many different ways, which is something that I suggest you try.

Ahhh…Sleep

Posted in Quotes, Thoughts on September 8, 2009 by jdgisler

So lately I have been reading CJ Mahaney’s book “Humility: True Greatness,” and have been struck by a number of things, one of which was his discussion of sleep.

Never before have I given much thought to sleep, it was always just one of those things you did when you were tired, hopefully getting enough so you were ready to go the next day.  If you got enough sleep you were generally in a good mood, and a lack of sleep often led to being somewhat crabby. While he provides many good thoughts on the subject, I think the next paragraph or two are helpful:

“The fact is, God could have created us without a need for sleep.   But He chose to build this need within us, and there’s a spiritual purpose for it.  Each night, as I confront my need again for sleep, I’m reminded that I’m a dependent creature.  I am not self-sufficient.  I am not the Creator.  There is only One who ‘will neither slumber nor sleep’ (Psalm 121:4), and I am not that One.

“Sleep is a gift, but it’s a humbling one.  It’s a matter of only hours, at most, before you’re ready to again receive God’s gift of sleep.”

What a great thought, and something I hope to incorporate into my daily life.  Simply being thankful for sleep can help in your process of learning humility.  So what about you, are you thankful for sleep?

ummmm_sleeping-30