I took my own advice from last month’s blog, and set about creating my own Journal, but found it overwhelming. I did some research and found that creating a journal, is more than just pen and thoughts, it’s a faith-building experience. It not only edifies God but encourages and uplifts us, and it prevents any part of our journey from leaking out of our memory. Remembering God’s faithfulness encourages us also to take steps of faith and to continue to trust Him in everything. The word “remember” appears over 150 times in the Bible. Although remembering stories from childhood is important, God wants our memories to focus first and foremost on Him.
1 Chronicles 16:12 it says, “Remember His wonderful deeds which He has done, His marvels and the judgments from His mouth.”
Psalm 77:11 says, “I shall remember the deeds of the Lord; surely I will remember Your wonders of old.”
In Deuteronomy 5:15 it says, “You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm.”
Deuteronomy 8:2 says, “You shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.”
All of us have stories of how God powerfully redeemed us from our own “Egypt’s”. We’ve had seasons where we’ve been tested in our wildernesses, and these are the stories worth remembering. When we forget what God has done for us, we get ourselves into a tangle of trouble. God wants our recollections to be saturated with the memories of how He has worked mightily in our lives and in the lives of our family, so we can pass it on to the next generation.
Psalm 78:5-7 directs us to do this… For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers, that they should teach them to their children. That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born. That they may arise and tell them to their children. That they should put their confidence in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments.
Journaling is a time of remembering what God has done. The memories of experiences, of God answering prayer and of God’s marvelous hand of provision, restoration and creation. There are memories of people, who God has used in our life, and there are memories of significant places, places that trigger memories.
It’s a time of renewing personal commitment and a time to be rolling away old defeats and experiencing of the Goodness of God. Just like the people in the Old Testament who built monuments, we are building memories to remember, to share and encourage ourselves and others.
Gordon McDonald writes:
I became aware, little by little, that God’s Holy Spirit was directing my thoughts and insights as I wrote. On paper, the Lord and I were carrying on a personal communion. He was helping me, in the words of David, to ‘search my heart’. He was prodding me to put words to my fears, shapes to my doubts. And when I was candid about it, then there would often come from Scripture or from the meditations of my own heart, the reassurances, the rebukes and admonitions that I so badly needed. But this began to happen only when journaling was employed.” [Ordering your Private World.]
I don’t think Gordon had those results right away. Like anything, journaling takes some time to bring about noticeable results. Just like anything we begin doing, we become better with practice, discipline, focus and we the become intentional.
I encourage you to start your own journal or prayer journal today! Build your stone monuments with your memories of your journey with God.