There is someone who is named for pain. His name is a part of history. I looked up Jabez on a few baby naming websites. To this day, Jabez still means, sorrow; pain; borne in pain. Can you imagine being named for pain?
I Chronicles chapter four is the only place I find the name, Jabez. Yet, he is famous in the Christian world for two things; his name and his request. I learned Jabez’s prayer several years ago when it was popular. You may have heard it too. I Chronicles 4:9-10 [NKJV]:
9Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” 10And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested.
A man named for pain asks God to bless him and walk with him through life (… that Your hand would be with me…). Then he asks God to keep him from evil so he would not cause pain.
And ya know what? God granted his request. God made Jabez into a man that did not cause pain. What a bold wise man to take something negative like pain and turn it over to God. God is the only being in the universe able to take a negative beginning and turn it into a positive force.
Imagine what happens when we bring God our faults, failures, and negative concerns. Then we communicate our desire for his hand in our lives. He finds a way to make good come from our life.
Job had no fault in what happened to him, and Jabez had no choice in his birth or his name. Yet for both of these believers, God turns the inevitable into something awesome. Inside our prison of pain, we can allow God to create something good from our circumstances too.
It doesn’t have to be big and splashy. It can be as simple as helping one soul, stepping up to do the right thing, or praying for someone. We will play a role in God’s Plan. This is why Jabez prays for God’s hand in his life. Like Job’s wife had the choice to encourage or discourage, Jabez had the choice to cause pain or not. This history makes me consider the choices I make.
By writing this I am learning from this wise man. With boldness like Jabez, I ask God to walk with me, bless me, enlarge my dreams, keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain.
God wants to be with us. Do we need him? I do. Do we want him? There was a time I only wanted God as a security blanket. God knew that too. But now I want so much more. He wants to hear it from me. He wants to take the negative circumstances in my life and turn them to something special for him and for my world.
I am looking forward to seeing what he will do with the rest of my life. It is awesome to watch God’s power working. It makes the journey, an adventure!
“Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!”
I pray your week is awesome! God bless you today,
P.S. Out of curiosity I looked up 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 in Young’s Literal Translation. The words used for pain are; grief and grieve respectively. How many times do we feel physical pain in our grief?
9 “And Jabez is honoured above his brethren, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, `Because I have brought forth with grief.’”
10 “And Jabez calleth to the God of Israel, saying, `If blessing Thou dost bless me, then Thou hast made great my border, and Thy hand hath been with me, and Thou hast kept [me] from evil — not to grieve me; and God bringeth in that which he asked.”