Whether you're a mature believer or new to the faith, there are many great benefits to making journaling a part of your bible study or quiet time. And with the many different variations of beautiful journals out there made especially for women, you’re sure to find one that suits your needs and personality.
We are told in Joshua 1:8 to meditate on the book of the law day and night, that we may observe to do all that is written in it. To meditate is to ponder, reflect, or to focus one's mind. It is more than just reading a passage and moving on. Journaling helps us to truly soak in the Word of God.
I know what you may be thinking and no, this doesn't need to require a lot of time. We’re all busy. I get that, me too. Even if you can only get 15 minutes of alone time to write down a promise from the Lord and to pray it over your life or someone else’s. You will be amazed at the power of His promises and what those prayers will do for you and for the one you’re praying for.
There are countless benefits to journaling but here are 5 to start with.
1. Retain What You Read
If you’re anything like me, you can read a passage in the morning, think it’s perfect for what is happening in your life right now. Then forget all about it and how you were going to apply it to your life by lunchtime.
Taking the time to write down what we are learning, to write what we feel God is speaking to us. Write out our prayers and record His answers. These are all things that are going to help us focus better and retain more of what we learn about God. It’s just like what you heard in school all those years, the more senses you use in learning something, the better you will retain it.
2. Gain a Deeper Understanding of the Word of God
Obviously, the more time we spend in the Word, the better we will understand it. Where journaling can help, is as we articulate the passages into our own words, we gain a better knowledge of their meaning. There are journals with prompts in them to help the user dig a little deeper into the passages they are reading. For example;
Was there an example to follow, a command to obey, or a promise to believe?
Is there an attitude to change or sin to confess?
What does this Scripture say to me personally?
These thought provoking prompts help us to take the passages one step further in learning and understanding Christ’s teachings as well as applying them to our lives.
3. Become More Like Christ
To quote my Sunday School teacher; “God’s Word has one interpretation but many applications”. Meaning, that God’s teachings in scripture are the same for everyone. Although how we apply them to our personal lives may be different than our sister in Christ. For example; we've all been called to proclaim the gospel. However, one may do it by passing out Scripture, another through music, or witnessing to those around them at work and in their neighborhood. It’s all a matter of how God wants to use you for His plan and service.
Journaling can help us get to the heart of what we are reading and prayerfully seek how God wants us to apply His Word to our current situation. This is the goal. To have a changed life for Christ and allow Him to make us into who He has called us to be. Therefore, we need to make a plan of action as to how or what we will do differently, otherwise change will not happen. Writing this down in a journal helps us to carry it through.
I suppose one of the reasons why I used proclaiming the gospel as an example is because this is an area that God has been working on in my heart. Witnessing is always something I feel that I need to be better at, and by better, I mean DO IT!
For me, witnessing is handing a small copy of God's Word to someone I meet. It may be someone at the grocery store, Target, UPS store, wherever I happen to go. This is much more effective when I actually have scriptures in my purse to hand out. So, the way I applied God's teaching for change in my life, was to make sure I have a supply of bibles for whenever He prompts me to give one away. It's a matter of being intentional about change.
4. It Increases Your Faith
As we learn the scriptures and apply them to our lives, we see God working in and through us. We begin to know and believe His promises more and more. We also learn that we can trust Him for the outcome. This increases our faith to face new challenges with our Heavenly Father beside us. Some journals have a place to enter the answers to your prayers. I so recommend doing this or to go back and review what the Lord has taught you. You'll be amazed at how He has worked in your life and sometimes, you didn’t even realize He was there.
5. Builds an Arsenal of Truth
When life’s struggles arise or the enemy attacks, we will have an arsenal of truth at our disposal to strengthen us. We’ve all been there, me included, when the enemy tries to fill your head with half-truths and sometimes, flat-out lies. He works tirelessly to drive a wedge between us and our husbands, our families, our friends, and especially between us and our Heavenly Father. By journaling, we will have an arsenal of truth to refer back to. Either by going back and looking at what we have written or by the Holy Spirit reminding us of what we have learned and applied from the Word of God. This way, when the enemy attacks or a trial suddenly hits, we will know the truth of God’s faithfulness, His love for us, His sovereignty, and His grace. All of which will help to see us through.
So I encourage you today to start journaling and see for yourself the difference it will make with your walk with the Lord. To become more and more like Jesus by retaining more and applying what you are reading. To build your faith and have an arsenal of truth for when the need arises.
Journaling has incredible benefits for all of us and with the prompts to help, it’s so easy to get started. There are a few journals here on the website. Click here to take a peek. You can also find them on Amazon or your favorite Christian bookstore. Happy Journaling!
If you already journal or are trying it for the first time and discover another benefit, please share it with the rest of us in the comments below. While you're there, please hit the like button as that will help greatly in spreading the truth of God's Word.