I rested my pen down beside my notebook. Another year had just come to a close and I finished my last entry for the year. As I went to put the strap around the cover, I found myself looking back over the year’s events. If it wasn’t for my journal, I would have missed daily reminders of God’s faithfulness, recordings of what He was doing in my heart to teach me more about Himself, and so much more.
Journaling has been essential to helping me grow in my walk with Christ. While I understand that journaling isn’t for everyone, I love to encourage my students and those who are seeking to grow in their walk with Christ to record their journey as they go. I’ve found some great benefits to journaling:
1. Journaling gives us an opportunity to see how God has been faithful.
This particular journal covered all of 2019. In the first entry, there was no way I could predict what was going to happen over the course of the year. I had no idea how God would work to create opportunities for me to minister to others and that my family would be growing. I had no idea that God, in his infinite grace, would give me a front-row seat while a student responded to Christ in saving faith.
This journal also included high and low points in my walk with Him. Some days, it felt like the words of Scripture jumped off of the page, ripe with sweet revelation about the Father. Other days, I struggled to connect a passage to Christ or even comprehend what was happening. Still other days, I didn’t journal at all. My entries reflected life and all of its ups and downs. Looking back, my life may have ebbed and flowed, but God’s faithfulness remained. He stayed as an Anchor and constant Truth regardless of what else was happening around me.
2. Journaling helps us to meditate on Scripture.
Psalm 1 is one of my favorite passages in the Bible. Verses 1 and 2 describe the importance of meditating on the Word of God instead of the counsel of the wicked. The Psalmist says that this man mediates on the law “day and night”. This meditation leads the blessed man to delight in God’s law.
Journaling helps me carefully think about the things I’ve read in Scripture as I seek to stir my affections for the Lord. I can see what God wants to reveal to me each day by working through my thoughts and writing them down immediately after I read a passage. If I didn’t journal, I would be tempted to read the Bible and never think of it again. Journaling forces me to slow down and meditate on God’s Word, often times helping me keep the gospel and God’s promises on my mind throughout the day.
3. Journaling shows us God’s work of sanctification in our lives.
As Believers in Jesus, the Spirit reveals sin and helps us as we seek to be holy as our Father is holy. This process of becoming more like Christ is called sanctification.
I’ve found that it can be easy to get discouraged as I fight my sin. Some days, I’ll look back at old journals and see how God has led me on this battle against my sins to have more consistent victories over them. The Holy Spirit has worked in my life and led me to a place where I have overcome some sins which used to leave me paralyzed. Reading these journals reminds me that God will continue to be faithful and continue to conform me to the image of Christ as Paul describes in Romans 8:29, just as He so patiently has in my life to this point.
Journaling has had a profound impact on my life, and I believe that through this discipline, it can lead us to rejoice in rest in the God who saves us and gave His Son up for us. So I encourage you: take up a pen and a notebook. You’ll be amazed at how clearly you begin to see things when you begin to write them down.