Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request. 1 Chronicles 4:10 (NIV).
I rediscovered this gem today as I was reading my Bible. It was as if I was reading it for the very first time. I’ve been in a bit of a slump lately, allowing the enemy to beat me up with his lies and diving head long into that spiral of the dreaded…..pity party. Truly, why it is called a party I don’t know. When I think of a party I think of a celebration with family, friends, laughter, good food and dessert, yes dessert. There are none of these at a pity party. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit always offers us the opportunity to confess our sin and repent!
Let’s talk about Jabez for a moment. We know very little about Jabez and what we do know is that his name means pain. His mother had named him Jabez saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” 1 Chronicles 9b. We also know that he was more honorable than his brothers. (1 Chronicles 9a). We know Jabez cried out to God.
- Jabez asked God to bless him and enlarge his territory and God did.
- Jabez asked God to keep his hand on him and God did.
- Jabez asked God to keep him from harm and free from pain and God did.
Now, I’m a black and white thinker learning more and more about grace in the gray area every day. There is a reason God chose to put this verse in His word. There are no cross-reference Scriptures to 1 Chronicles 4:10, to me it is cut and dry. Jabez asked and God said yes.
But, how do we reconcile 1 Chronicles 4:10 to, say, John 16:33?
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.
Jesus tells us we will have trouble in this world yet Jabez asked to be protected and free from pain and God said yes! What’s more, Jabez asked for a blessing and a bigger territory than he already had and God said yes!
I believe what is key here is what isn’t written about Jabez. This one verse speaks volumes about Jabez’ relationship with God. Jabez was so close with God that he knew he could boldly pray to God and ask for the things on his heart and trust, that in His sovereignty, God would answer according to his will.
Today I prayed Jabez’ prayer asking God to bless me and increase my territory in the ministry that he has called me to be a part of and God did! Sometimes we need a tangible and visible confirmation from God that what we believe he is showing us is what he is showing us. God knows this and I believe he delights in showing us this gift giving, love bucket filling part of his nature.
May God bless you and increase your territory, may he keep his hand upon you and evil from you so that you won’t feel pain. More than that, may you draw closer and closer to Him in a deep and intimate relationship, trusting him more and knowing that in his sovereignty he will answer your prayer according to his perfect will for you life.