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October 17, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“This will be written for the generation to come, that a people yet to be created may praise the LORD.”—Psalm 102:18 (NKJV)
King David and his psalms—they are quintessential masterpieces. Nothing else written has ever captured the plight of the human psyche or delved deeper into the heart of God than David’s journaled thoughts. They are cataloged for us in tidy chapters, but the framework of David’s life can be missed by simply beginning with the first psalm. That framework is extraordinary and helps support what I’d like to propose to you today: journaling.
But first, let’s do some reading. Look at David’s first psalm–not the one that begins the Book of Psalms, but the first one he wrote—Psalm 59. If possible, read it aloud to yourself. Okay, now turn to Psalm 37, the last one he wrote. Read that. See any differences? Any similarities?
What stands out to me is David began both by writing about his enemies or evildoers. But there is a contrast to what he conveys. His first psalm (59) implores God to rescue him from his enemies. In his last psalm (37), David advocates to “not fret because of evildoers.” Go back and forth between these two works and see what stands out to you. I wish I could be there when you do! I hope you’ll see the evolution of not David the king, but of David a man after God’s own heart.
You might be wondering what any of this has to do with journaling. Well, David’s psalms are journals of sorts. They are divinely inspired, but they also reflect the events of David’s days, the circumstances he faced, his struggles, fears, joys, his hallelujahs, and his defeats. And can’t we all relate to that? And haven’t his writings inspired generations to praise the Lord?
If you journal, that’s wonderful. If you don’t, please consider starting. Whether it’s a few notes in your Bible that respond to God or even a little heart next to a favorite verse, it’s a personal way to engage with what you read, record how you feel, pray through circumstances, and trace your spiritual journey. It’s an interactive experience you don’t want to miss.
You don’t have to write a quintessential masterpiece to get the most out of journaling. It’s simply a way to connect with God and witness your spiritual growth from one page to the next. Journaling is a work in progress, just like David and just like us. It’s never perfect—it doesn’t have to be. Its only focus is your time with Jesus.
PAUSE: What are some ways journaling connects you to the Lord?
PRACTICE: Journaling doesn’t have to be only notes or highlights in your Bible. You can write love letters to God, create poetry, or write your own personal devotions. If you already journal, think of something new to try.
PRAY: Lord, I’m absolutely overwhelmed by Your love letter to the world; how You used people just like me to write Your story. Father, as I read and study Your Word, I ask for insights I can jot down and revelation I can record to enhance my relationship with You and to help others who might read what I wrote to praise You. Amen.
Lisa Supp lives in Utah and has served within the CCFL Web and Prayer Ministry since 2011. She also volunteers as an editor on the CCFL Prayer Wall and is a writer on the Communications Team. Retired from teaching, Lisa and her husband Ron volunteer at their local Calvary Chapel and share a passion for Scripture, apologetics, and education.