One of the greatest things you can do for your spiritual life is retrace God’s faithfulness. I have always heard journaling is a great way to do this. I’ve tried several times to keep a journal; mostly out of guilt or hearing people say I should. Some of you may quit reading now for the same reasons I did in the past.
I never really got it until recently. Last week I opened up a journal from two years ago when I was going through a difficult season. I read some of the promises from God’s Word I received during that time. I read some of the prayers I wrote asking God to come through. Tears welled up in my eyes. Now I’m on the other side of those challenges and facing new challenges. I was reminded that the same God who helped me before is the same God who will come through again.
Journaling is a great way to consistently remind yourself of what God has done in your life and help you process your thoughts. Here are four reasons I’ve found journaling to be important.
Sometimes a journal is more than a journal.
Make it your dream journal, prayer journal, gratitude journal, and journal journal. Retrace God’s faithfulness. Count your blessings. Literally, count every one of them for a year and you may find you have over 365 blessings to be grateful for in the past year. Use it for good ideas, God ideas, and everything in between. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It does need to be honest. No one will see this but you and God.
I can revisit God’s work often.
Regularly revisit previous weeks or follow up on the prayer request that has now been answered. At least once a year, schedule time and read through the whole journal from the past year. It will scream to you that God is faithful! It will remind you to stand firm in promises God gave you in previous months.
There’s really no pressure.
I didn’t journal in the past because I didn’t feel I had enough to say. Now I realize it’s less about what we say and more about what we are hearing. Try this one simple commitment to take the pressure off – Write ONE sentence a day. That’s it! It’s more important to create a daily rhythm than it is how much you are writing. I have found that one sentence often turns into one paragraph or one page. It turns from writing a sentence to pouring your heart out on a page.
It’s easily accessible.
Put it by your bed at night for that random thought at 3am. Keep it somewhere you can easily refer to it or write something in it. I tried the Journal app on my iPhone for a while but found nothing beats keeping a journal you actually write in. Keeping a written journal also allows you to disconnect from your phone or other technology. I started reading a printed Bible for the same reason.
Most importantly, do what works for you. Start with one sentence a day and see what happens. Retrace God’s faithfulness throughout your life. A few years from now you may read an old journal with tears in your eyes as you are reminded once again of God’s faithfulness.