I Found The Perfect Journal Entry Template In The Bible

This past weekend, I was in Houston for the Rodeo. The experience – food, sights, sounds, and smells – will require a blog entry of its own. Perhaps even a book. It certainly is a full sensory experience the likes of which I have never encountered.

But I digress…

On Sunday, we went to my cousin’s church. The preacher, whom I really enjoyed, directed us to Psalm 89:33-37. It’s a beautiful sentiment about God’s promise to David, highlighting God’s thoughts towards the king and his descendants. I dutifully highlighted it in my Bible app (I have a whole highlighting system that is worthy of Masterclass level teaching).

As the Pastor went on to make his greater point, my right scrolling thumb slipped, and I saw verse 38 of the chapter:

But now you have rejected him and cast him off.

    You are angry with your anointed king.

Well, that’s quite the twist. It gets worse from there:

You have broken down the walls protecting him

    and ruined every fort defending him.

Everyone who comes along has robbed him,

    and he has become a joke to his neighbors.

Sheesh. If anyone took a turn like that during a small group testimony, we would think an immediate prayer and deliverance** service should ensue.

(***I know ‘prayer and deliverance service’ exposes my Pentecostal leanings. It’s fine. Again, I digress…)

As the Pastor of my cousin’s very fine church continued making very fine points, I became entranced by the remainder of Psalm 89. As the people enthusiastically validated and punctuated the preacher’s sermon with ‘amens’ (I told you, we’re Pentecostal), I went back to the top of Psalm 89 and read it through again. It wasn’t until later, actually Tuesday to be exact, that I understood what I was reading:

The perfect journal entry.

I am a vocal advocate of journaling. It’s just an amazing way to chronicle your history with God.

In this Psalm, we see what I believe to be the perfect structure of a perfect journal entry:

Verses 1-4: Recounting Gods Promises:

  • “I’ll never leave you”
  • “I have overcome the world”
  • “My grace is sufficient”
  • “Vengeance is mine”

There are so many things God has promised, and because He can be trusted, I do good to remind myself of things that He has said…

Verses 5-14: Reviewing His Character and Power:

Sometimes, I need to remind myself exactly what God I am serving. The god (notice the small “g”) of this world is relentless. He is constantly assaulting my senses, masterfully contending for my attention. The constant blitz of information is so ruthless that I have to intentionally stop and remind myself:

  • Who God is
  • How He Operates
  • What He values

Verses 15-18: Remembering What Hes Done:

It’s one thing to know about a person. It’s another thing to know the person themselves. I know God through His word, sure. But I also know Him through my personal experience with Him. When I review that experience with Him, it, strangely, helps me know Him even more.

Verses 19-37: More Promises/More Praise:

Because, honestly, can I ever do this too much?

Verses 38-51: Reality & Hard Questions:

When journaling, this is the one I have struggled with the most. It feels almost sacrilegious to do. I struggle telling God exactly what is going on like He doesn’t know exactly what is going on.

I’m a church girl. We don’t say bad things are happening, and we certainly don’t say how we actually feel about the bad things that are happening. In my church culture, there is an unspeakable amount of pressure to put a beautiful faith veneer on my darkest thoughts and fears. But here, in this perfect journal entry of Ethan (the guy who wrote this Psalm), he feels no such pressure.

He tells God:

“Hey, God, you see all this mess down here? You see how everybody’s trippin’? Where you at?? Watchu doin?? You don’t wanna hurry up, run through, and handle this real quick? It ain’t like you can’t. It feels like you just won’t. That’s so wild to me.”

(**The above is an Urban Vernacular Interpretation. It takes decades of life experience and training. Please dont attempt at home.)

Verse 52:

This is my favorite:

Praise the Lord forever!

    Amen and amen!

After all of that, the psalmist concludes: God is still worthy to be praised, and He will, in fact, have the last word.

I know I’ve said it before, but let me do it again: journaling can be an amazing spiritual discipline. It doesn’t have to be perfectly written in a perfect journal you bought from Target inked with a perfect pen you acquired online.

It can be on note cards.

It can be in the margin of other books.

It can be on the back of old receipts.

Just do it. Write it all down:

Everything God has said…

Everything that He is…

Everything He’s done…

Everything that is wrong…

Write it!

In the end, I believe you will develop a full account of a life well-lived with God. It will document a beautifully imperfect life that is becoming a living letter from Christ to a fearful, lonely world.

Sherri Lynn

Morning Show Host, STAR 93.3


Unlock weekly devotionals, contests, and
more in your inbox – Become a STAR 93.3 Insider today!

Sherri Lynn

1 Comment

  1. Maylou Holladay on March 14, 2024 at 10:48 pm


    Thank you! My early journal entries are a reminder of God’s goodness on days when I might not feel He is there.

    God bless you!

    Maylou Holladay

Leave a Comment