Journaling has been one of the most helpful tools in my walk with the Lord. Many girls start writing down their thoughts at a young age. They have their little notebooks, (called diaries) to write down their secrets. Some are even fancy, having a lock and key. Though the motive for a little girl is sharing secrets with the pages of her diary, jouraling can be very beneficial for Christians at any age.
Keeping a journal for your Bible is one of the most rewarding and imperative things that you can do for yourself. No matter what season you are in, your notebook is like a friend, always waiting for you to come to it and spill your thoughts. Without further ado, here are some ways that you can benefit from keeping a Journal:
Have you ever experienced the loss of concentration during your prayers? We set aside a time to pray, and we focus our hearts on the Lord to have fellowship with Him. 10 seconds into the prayer and our minds are wandering. It is difficult to train our minds to focus during prayer.
Journaling helps with concentration. It is easier to be single minded when writing. Also, writing down your thoughts on paper can help balance your emotions and relieve tension.
I can look back over my life and see, as a whole, God’s grace and mercy. I have forgotten specific answered prayers, due to a poor memory. The evidence of God hearing our voices, by answering our prayers, is so amazing. However, there are only a handful that I can specifically remember.
Journaling will give you the opportunity to date your prayers and mark the ones God has answered. When we go through dry seasons (where it seems like God is silent) in our life, reviewing the prayers God answered can help strengthen us until He decides to speak to us again.
As we walk with God we are slowly being changed by His Holy Spirit. Because the changes happen slowly, it is oftentimes hard to see any growth in our Christian life. You know when you see someone that you haven’t seen in awhile, and they have lost weight? The person doesn’t see it, because it slowly happened in a way that she couldn’t be aware of.
There have been times where I have felt like a complete failure as a believer. I look and see little fruit. A benefit of journaling is the access of all of your writing. Growth can be better seen when you look back at the beginning pages of your journal.
You can also write down which friends and/or family members have helped guide you to get to the point at which you are currently at. This will remind you to remain grateful for the people that have helped you become the godly person that you are today.
You know the feeling of going to a bible study with loose paper stuck between the pages of your study book? I have lost so many good notes from years of going to Bible studies. Getting a journal for a particular study will help you stay organized. All of your notes will be written nicely in one journal.
Also, With college starting up, it can be tricky to balance your study time with school. Set aside a few pages for written prayers. Beneath verses that stand out to you, write out how you are going to live them out and apply them on a daily basis. As an added bonus: when choosing your journal, it is ideal to get a notebook with a pocket in the back of it, for when the loose paper mishap does happen.
For Later Review
Again, having a journal for a specific study will give you the ability to go back and review notes. I have journals that are each dedicated to one study. After a while, you will have collected several journals of organized notes on different topics.
No matter how hard I try, my mind likes to wander during church sermons. I listen, and then thoughts of food, work, the bird outside of the window, and other random things fill my mind. When you take a journal for sermon notes, your focus can be more concentrated on the sermon, instead of the bird outside of the window.
I bet you have heard hundreds of sermons, but have easily forgotten them. The Lord calls us to meditate on His word. A sermon doesn’t have much benefit for us, if we forget about it by Monday. Having notes from sermons, can help us meditate and find ways to actually apply what we have heard.
One of my most favorite ways of journaling is with a book. My bookshelf is stacked with books that are full of highlighted passages. After reading a good book, we can tend to forget all of the helpful truths we were excited about when we were reading. Keeping a journal of your favorite quotes can be helpful. You will not have to spend time flipping through previously read books, for one quote.
NOT A CHORE
Journaling can get discouraging when we see it as a duty and not a helpful tool. I have had seasons of journaling every day. Sometimes I would skip a few days, by accident, and then feel like I had somehow failed. Journaling is supposed to be helpful and not a stress. Don’t set too high of standards for your journaling. Being consistent will bring about more benefits, but consistency can look different for everyone.
It is great to look back and see how far you have come, having all of those pages filled were your own thoughts and emotions. So make it unique just like your personality! Don’t make journaling a hard duty. There is no right or wrong way of doing it. I would encourage you to just try journaling out. It might not be something for you, but I truly believe it can be a great help for Christians.
As always, I love chatting with you in the comment sections. Share your thoughts!
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Meet Abbie Carnes
Abbie is a sophomore at GCU. She loves blogging for the glory of God, as she continues her studies to be a teacher. Her heart is to share the love of Jesus through her writing.
I had the opportunity to write with Abbie on this post! We hope it will encourage you in the Lord!
You can read more from her on her blog, peskyimperfections.com