On December 13, 2015 John Gideon Hartnett shared his personal salvation testimony at the Church at Moonta (South Australia). This was part of several testimonies at the event entitled “The Wonderful Works of God” (Acts 2:11).
Have you started the day discouraged wondering what you are on Earth for? Have you felt alone and lost? Maybe you have forgotten (even momentarily) what great value knowing Christ is. That is how I felt waking up this morning. I woke feeling sick and with chest pains that have still not been diagnosed. Then I opened my copy of Daily Remembrancer and God gave me a spiritual jolt in the arm to wake me up.
“Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say rejoice” Philippians 4:4
“THE LORD IS AT HAND.” He has promised, “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” In Him we rejoice alway. Without Him, this is a very difficult precept; sometimes the Lord hides His face; we fear and doubt our interest in His love; we are almost bewildered through the powerful workings of corruption within us; we are bowed down by Satan’s sore temptations; and the dispensations of providence are so perplexing that we are ready to cry out, “All things are against us.” But we are not bidden to rejoice in persons and feelings, or in the dispensations of providence, but in the Lord. He has loved us with an everlasting love, and His love is immutably the same; He is our God in Jesus, and has promised to be unto us, to do for us, and freely give us, all that our circumstances require, or that will be for our good and His glory. In weakness we may rejoice in His power; in darkness we may rejoice that He knows our path; in sickness and sorrow, that He cares for us; and under any circumstances, in His covenant relations; for He is always our Father, Friend, and God. We should rejoice in His free grace, rich mercy, omnipotent power, faithful promises, special providence, and unchangeable love. —Daily Remembrancer May 11 Morning
One thing I know, by faith, that no matter what happens to us God will see us through to the end. The end is His design. He has our best interests at heart, so we should always rejoice even when circumstances around us look worst.
Rejoice in glorious hope!
Jesus, the Judge, shall come,
And take His servants up
To their eternal home;
We soon shall hear the archangel’s voice-
The trump of God shall sound, “Rejoice!”
In 2006 I was attending a theoretical physics conference in Madrid, Spain, when I started to experience some very strange, and I admit, very scary symptoms. On the second last day of the conference, after the lunch, served as a 3-course meal with a glass of wine, I started to feel dizzy and quite unwell. So I returned to my hotel and rested, as most people would under those circumstances, and by the morning I felt ok again. Then on the last day after the final lunch I started to feel much worse than the previous day, weak and fatigued, and dizzy with cold sweats. I managed to walk back to my hotel with great effort in taking each step. I remember the great difficulty in even walking up a few steps. I was really worried, especially when one of the servers at the lunch said to me that I looked terrible, that I was ‘white as a ghost’.
As I laid there on my bed, in the hotel room, I thought about whether I should go to an emergency hospital in Madrid or try to survive (literally) long enough to get to Israel the next day as this was planned on my itinerary. I decided that I’d rather be in hospital in Israel than Spain. Even though I also had chest pains I believed that that was gastric reflux aggravated by the spicy food at the conference lunch. After the previous night the symptoms had subsided by resting and so I decided to just rest and get to the airport the next day.
At the airport, I recall, as I walked towards the departure gate, the cold sweat was just rolling off me and I did my best not to fall over from dizziness. I was still totally fatigued and it was so hard to pull my suitcase on wheels, but I tried to not look unwell as I wanted to get on that flight.
Recently (February 2015) we heard the terrible news of the martyrdom of the 21 young Egyptian Christian men in Libya, murdered at the hands of the Islamic death cult called ISIS, or Islamic State. For the full story JihadWatch or ChristianNews.com.au.
When the General Director of the Bible Society of Egypt, Ramez Atallah, heard this news the society very quickly put together a tract and printed more than one million copies.
The last three chapters in the book of Daniel really form one unit. The traditional chapter divisions in part obscure this fact. Here we deal with Daniel chapters 10 and 11 together. (All bold are my emphases added. Square brackets [ ] indicate meanings of words. King James Version Easy-Reading Bible (KJVER) used.)
Daniel 10:1 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia1 a thing [message] was revealed to Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing [message], and had understanding of the vision.
Daniel was mourning for three weeks when God somehow transported him in spirit and gives him his final vision. He finds himself besides the river Tigris, which was called Hiddekel (probably named that after the river in Eden of the same name).
Babylon though was located besides the great Euphrates river.
It appears that either an angel or God Himself in his theophany2 appeared to Daniel to reveal the vision.
I wrote the following piece called Delusions of Reprieve in late 2008 in a mental hospital in Subiaco, Western Australia. The place served as a revolving door for me from 2007 through to 2013, sometimes seeing me admitted for months at a time. At this stage the only diagnosis of my condition was major depressive disorder with chronic insomnia. Ironically, I wrote this piece sitting up in bed on my laptop at 4 am.
Psalms 116:7 Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.
There is no rest for the Christian but at the feet of Jesus; when we live near Him, and exercise our faith upon Him, we are at rest. Conscience is silent or commends us. The law has nothing to say against us. Walking close to the Lord, the world has but little influence over us; and Satan is powerless to do us harm. But if we wander away, we become weak and lose courage; and darkness, perplexity, and trouble fill our minds. But we may return, for Jesus is still inviting us; we must return or we cannot enjoy peace; let us therefore return unto our rest this morning. –Daily Remembrancer November 30 Morning
One day in 1976 my wife, Christina, and I travelled to Albany on the southern coast of Western Australia. We were just married and went on a faith trip together. At that time, we lived by faith to serve the Lord and witness His message of the gospel to the world. We went to that town because Christina had had a dream about a big whale and felt God was calling us to that town, which was once a big whaling port.
On arriving in the town, we went to the main street where the people shopped and we passed tracts and witnessed to anyone we could about the Lord.
Micah 2:10 Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest:…
There is no permanent rest for the believer on earth; here thistles and thorns abound and a voice is daily sounding in his ears, “Arise ye, and depart.” Here you are not to loll at ease or to idle on your journey; here you are not to expect to find satisfaction for it is an enemy’s land; and you are only passing through on your way to your heavenly home.—Daily Remembrancer November 16 Morning
In 1975 I was one of 3 adults who set off, hitchhiking together, across Australia from Perth to Melbourne. That is a journey of some 3400 km (2100 miles). According to Google maps it can now be driven in 37 hours non-stop (not that that is recommended). At that time the road was only sealed (with bitumen) on the Western Australian side out to the state border with South Australia. After that was about 800 km (500 miles) of very poor quality dirt road. See circled area on map. That is already well into the Nullabor plain. The word ‘Nullabor’ is aboriginal and means ‘treeless.’ It is a flat desert plain.
God’s people are as precious metals, afflictions are His furnace, purification is His design. He therefore puts them into the furnace, and He keeps them there until His end is accomplished. But He supervises the whole process Himself: He regulates the heat, watches its operation, and sits awaiting the fulfillment of His design. He will not be disappointed, for if one affliction does not produce the desired end He sends another.–Daily Remembrancer November 11 Evening
This purging and purifying the author here speaks of is personal. A Christian’s life is not smooth. If it was then Satan has us exactly where he wants us. But God uses the devil as an agent for His own good.