I will remember the deeds of the Lord;Yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds.
The verses above obviously talk about the importance of remembering what God has done in the past. Why? Because it is often by remembering what God did long ago that we can remain confident in what God is doing now and what He will do in the future.
One of the best ways to remember & to insure that we remember is by keeping a journal. Journaling is a discipline that merely involves writing down events in day-to-day life. Prayer concerns, answered prayers, written prayers to God, and recorded significant (and sometimes mundane) events in your life can prove to be a great benefit to you and to others many years later.
Journaling is a discipline because it requires actually putting pen to paper (or fingers to a keyboard) when you don’t really feel like anything is really happening in your life or when you feel like your time could be spent doing something more useful. The payoff of journaling often comes years down the road, as you look back over your journal and see what God has done in your life.
Another benefit of journaling is that your personal journal can prove to be a tremendous spiritual benefit to others. David Brainerd was a missionary to Native American Indians in New England during the 1700s. Brainerd was a very godly young man who was committed to serving the Lord. Yet, look at page out of Brainerd’s personal journal:
December 16, 1744—Was so overwhelmed with dejection that I knew not how to live. I longed for death exceedingly. My soul was sunk into deep waters, and the floods were ready to drown me. I was so much oppressed, that my soul was in a kind of horror: could not keep my thoughts fixed in prayer, for the space of one minute, without fluttering and distraction… ; and was exceedingly ashamed that I did not live to God.
However, look at his entry a short time later: February 17, 1745—In the evening I felt composed, and comfortable, though much tired. I had some sweet sense of the excellency and glory of God; and my soul rejoiced, that he was ‘God over all, blessed for ever;’ and longed to be more alone with God. Oh that I could for ever bless God for the mercy of this day, who ‘answered me in the joy of my heart.’
The reason this is a benefit to us is because we often feel that way. There are days that we can’t pray; we feel depressed & dejected. We feel like there is not much use in continuing on. Yet, when we can then read that God did not leave His people in this depressing frame of mind but lifted them out of it, then we too can live beyond today’s present dark clouds.
My journaling efforts have proved to be an invaluable resource for me. I encourage you to take up this discipline, too. It can be a blessing to you and to those who come after you.