Count it all JOY!

When I was suffering with anxiety and panic attacks, I used to hate people knowing about my illness and I would put up a pretence, acting like I was absolutely fine. I was the one that always had it all together and I was fearful of people discovering the truth of what was really going on inside.

During times of testing my first instinct was always to either hide myself away from people or to run away from any kind of conflict. I had put up so many walls and barriers, in a bid to try and protect myself, that God had to do major work on my heart and completely change my thinking. I wrote more about this in my recent post Loving Vulnerably.

Over time and as my faith in Jesus has grown, I’ve learned that hiding and running away are not the answer and are not even an option for me anymore. I’ve learned that appearing vulnerable is okay, for it is the Lord who lifts me up, protects me and strengthens me. God will and must receive all of the glory for every trial I face and overcome! Not me.

So, here I am, willing to appear vulnerable before you all; my heart open. I am currently going through one of the most difficult seasons in my walk with God. Ever! Everything within me is screaming to run away and hide and my flesh is telling me it’s not worth it and to give up.

God gave me a vision a while ago to start Spirit led worship nights called ‘Create Space’ at my church and God has opened doors for this vision to become a reality and it starts up on 21st of January. Since then it’s been attack after attack. Yesterday was the worst so far when I received a very critical text from a lady from my church. It was not a very nice text at all and I absolutely sobbed my heart out. As in previous years, my first instinct was to throw the towel in and give up all together.

Then God gave me this scripture:

James 1:2-4 Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith through experience produces endurance leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed in your faith, lacking in nothing.

Spiritual maturity and inner peace are definitely things I want but I just found out the only way I’m going to get either of these, is to go through times of trial, where my faith gets tested. I’m now going to count it all joy as I go through this difficult time of testing and through handling things God’s way, it will enable me to mature in Him.

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I ask you to please keep ‘Create Space Worship night’ in your prayers. I do believe that we are on the edge of huge spiritual breakthrough in our church and also our community as strongholds are broken and hearts are set free as we exalt the name of Jesus through Spirit led praise and worship. I thank God for you all.

Every blessing to you for the week ahead.

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41 thoughts on “Count it all JOY!

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  1. Hi Hayley, I’m keeping you in my prayers, follow God’s leading and the rest will fall into place. As long as what the vision you have been given falls into line with God’s Word, don’t let a critical attitude stop you from following the leading God has given you. Grace and Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My prayers are for you to continue to grow in the space God has given you. But…a red flag started waving when I saw your church teaches Alpha. It is listed on several deception sites as bothersome teaching. Be careful..not everything “new” is good.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You must not give up on something you aspire too, Hayley. You need to be stronger than that. Remember that the Church is made up of people and people are fallible and need guidance. You need to give yourself a chance to share your love with others.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Robbie, those are really wise words. I think you’re completely right and I’m hoping I’m going to have an opportunity to share God’s love with this person (and others of course 😊).
      Love Hayley 💞

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Keep pressing in Hayley! The giants will tumble! You are going to do great things for the kingdom, your heart and your spirit show that. I pray every blessing and strength for you in your endeavors. You are a warrior!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So needed to hear those words today, you’ll never know how much! Thank you for your encouragement and for seeing my heart for God. I go through waves of wanting to run but then I know I have to stand firm and wait patiently for God to move those giants.
      Thank you again 😊
      Hayley ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hayley, I am with you in prayers, and if you are okay, I can add this to your prayer request ❤ I was told once, "When you are doing what God wants you to do, that is when the devil strikes. That is when darkness makes its face known." When we aren't doing what God wants us to, darkness doesn't bother us. But when we do…people lash out. Things appear to crumble and doubt sets in.

    Your scripture you were given was absolutely meant for you, and God is with you. I am going to pray against darkness, for hearts that are attacking you to be pricked, and for assurance to be upon you my sister in Christ.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ❤️ Thank you so much, lovely T.R.
      Those are wonderful words of wisdom to treasure and I will be looking back over them.
      You are so right and I feel it in my spirit that the enemy is attempting to use any tactic he can to try and take me out.
      I’ve never been through Spiritual warfare on this level before but it’s encouraging to know I’m doing what God is calling me to do.
      Of course, please add me to the prayer requests. I’m so grateful to have so many people praying for me. Lots of love, Hayley 😊💕

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes it is very True Hayley we do indeed go through hard Testing but it is not from God as the Scripture below confirms and if wanted there are other Scriptures. His Testing is Loving and gentle, it is not a hard burden to bear but yes He does give us His Strength to endure whatever Satan and Life in this fallen World brings, He also protects our Soul. We remember too what He said to His Children in the Past as confirmed in Scripture, He is also saying to us today.

    Lamentations 3: 33 For God doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the Children of Men

    Isaiah 43:1-3 – Do not be afraid for I have ransomed you Hayley I have called you by Name you are mine Hayley. When you go through deep waters and great trouble I will be with you Hayley. When you go through rivers of difficulty Hayley you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression you will not be burned up Hayley, the flames will not consume you. For I am The LORD your God Hayley, The Holy One of Israel your Saviour.”

    Jeremiah 29 :11-12 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you Hayley, says The LORD, thoughts of Peace and not of evil, to give you a Future and a Hope.

    For many years Hayley I suffered because of being wrongly diagnosed with Bipolar, they were unknowingly giving me Medication that caused my Thyroid condition to worsen, I have Hashemoto’s Disease which mimics Bipolar if not treated.

    During these years I suffered Fear and Panic attacks so I do understand what you are experiencing Hayley and feel great Compassion for you. I would like to share the Prayer with you below that God put into my Heart during one of my Fear Attacks and I still Pray it if there is troubling situations and problems or when lead by The Holy Spirit to Pray for others. For many years now I have not had any symptoms of Mental illness as confirmed by my Doctors and amazingly God gave me the Prayer years before they found out about my Thyroid condition but by then I was no longer taking the Medication that had been causing the problems and was also Praying the Prayer below so they had already disappeared.

    ” Dear Heavenly Father in the Name of Jesus Christ and in the Blood that was shed for me on the Cross, I ask you to bind Satan that he cannot hurt me Physically, Mentally Spiritually or Emotionally now and always as I Trust in Jesus my Lord and Saviour, Amen”

    Christian Love Hayley and God’s Blessings,
    Anne ( Grannie Annie)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so very much for sharing this with me, Anne. I appreciate you more than you’ll ever know. Your words of life and encouragement are straight from the heart of God and I could feel the Holy Spirit speaking through you as I read this.
      God is so awesome, it’s just amazing to read your testimony.
      Thank you for taking the time to write to me and lift me up in the Lord. I am so grateful. Much love, Hayley 😊💕

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I have also suffered from panic attacks and anxiety. I still do. Let me tell you something someone told me and it’s true for you. It’s hard to believe this is a problem for you. I would have never known from watching your videos. You come across very confident. I will keep you in my prayers, but I think this is probably a concern from that past. Isn’t it great how Christ strengthens us! Stay blessed my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dear Hayley:

    After living with sorrow for long enough, it can be hard to hope. People need examples. I used to put it this way: “Most evil is done by people doing what was done to them, hoping to find someone strong enough to show them how to heal.”

    That is what Jesus did for the world on the cross. He submitted to all the destructive forces that his people could mount against them, and then rose from the dead.

    Remember that part of the experience of the cross was the prayer “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” That is part of the experience of “carrying your cross.”

    Yours in Christ,

    Brian

    Liked by 1 person

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