Many years ago, I was in a Bible study where an author discussed the spiritual practice of rehearsing our trust in God’s faithfulness. There haven’t been many learning moments in my life that were as completely transformational as learning to incorporate this single spiritual discipline into my daily walk with Christ.
What does it mean to rehearse trust in God’s faithfulness? It is quite simple. It means that as we speak to God about the areas in life where we need to see his hand or see him move, we gratefully speak to him aloud about all the times he has shown up and moved before.
This makes perfect sense considering Philippians 4:6-7: “Do not be anxious for anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
I recited that verse for years and missed the most important part. If we are to find peace in Christ, we must offer our requests with thanksgiving in our hearts.
To get to a place of genuine thanksgiving, I learned to speak out loud to God of all the ways he has been faithful in the past, knowing that my God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Therefore, if he was faithful yesterday, he will be faithful again today.
Implementing this discipline ignited a passion and trust in me that I had never experienced before. Then the world shut down in 2020, and I found myself in a dark place spiritually.
I can honestly say that the fear which held me in darkness was not a fear of Covid-19. It was anxiety over end times that kept me awake at night. For the first time, I began to see how prophecy could possibly unfold in my lifetime.
I love to speak of the return of Christ where he will gather us all and take us home. I do not enjoy discussing the scary things that must take place before all is said and done. My concern, however, was not for myself. I believed, even in those dark days, that my faith in God’s ability to sustain me was unwavering. My concern was for my children and my grandchildren. Would their faith in God be strong enough to sustain them through trials that could come?
These 3 a.m. thoughts over things I could not control were unbearable, and I was finding it impossible to find things to rehearse as my trust.
I realized that simply rehearsing my trust was no longer enough. I had to write it down in anticipation of days when I would be unable to think past my current situation to see my God. I began a daily journal that simply records where I saw God’s faithfulness yesterday. Even in dark days, I knew I could always rehearse the things he had done in Scripture for the heroes of our faith, but I needed reminders that the God of the Bible is the God of my days as well.
Nothing I write in the journal is long or eloquent. Much of it may seem very common, but James tells us that every good and perfect gift is from above, so I take note even in the common. Here are some random samples as I flip through the pages:
April 15, 2021: “Yesterday, I was falsely accused in a meeting. God gave me the words to be able to speak healing into the situation instead of entering my default defense mode. He is so faithful to show up when I allow him to!”
September 13, 2021: “I saw God’s faithfulness yesterday in my granddaughter who comes to church looking for me and jumps into my arms to tell me how glad she is to see me. Thank you, Lord! You are so good.”
February 5, 2022: “The snow is such a beautiful reminder to me that there is beauty in every season because God is faithful.”
Then there are entries such as this one when God clearly reminds me of why I began journaling his faithfulness and my gratitude in the first place: “I’m trusting God’s faithfulness today even when I can’t see it because I am reading my own testimony to his faithfulness over and over in this journal.”
As I begin each new day, I never know what lies in store, but I always have yesterday, and all my yesterdays are filled with the faithfulness of my God. I build my life on the assurance that the God who was faithful yesterday is the same God who woke me up this morning, and he will be faithful again today.
– Tammie Emerson is a wife, mother, grandmother, teacher, and worship leader living in Sherman.