There was a man named Jabez who was more honourable than any of his brothers. His mother named him Jabez because his birth had been so painful. He was the one who prayed to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!” And God granted him his request.
I was just reading the above in 1 Chronicles today and my heart leapt at Jabez’s prayer. The final bit of this very short passage in the Bible tells us that God granted his request. The sincerity of his prayer strikes a chord in me especially the bit about wanting God to be in all that I do and I most certainly would like to be kept from ALL trouble & pain too.
Why did God grant Jabez his prayer? Here some reasons why I think God answered his prayer:
- I think that Jabez had it right in his heart and motives. He wanted God to be with him in all that he did. That demonstrated a reliance on our Father in Heaven. Most of us would much rather do things our own way and in our own strength.
- Significance in life is one of the key things that we look for in life and if we were honest with ourselves none of us wants to fade away without having some sort of impact in our lives. Jabez prayed for God to bless him and to expand his territory. While the prayer might have meant that Jabez wanted more land I believe what he also meant was that he wanted more “influence” in his life; which I believe would also lead to him glorifying God more.
- The more I read the Bible the more I am convinced that God blesses us with more only when our hearts are right and when we put Him first in our lives. I don’t see how we can be good stewards of riches, etc if He’s not number #1. His glory should be made manifest in all that we are and that includes how we are stewardd of our material possessions.
I would hope & pray for my life to be free of trouble & pain but that’s really in God’s plan. As much struggles are tough to go through I wouldn’t ask God to spare me because I truly want to be the man that God wants me to be. I can face whatever comes my way only if I have Him by my side and it’s really awesome that He has promised to never leave me or forsake me. And that’s one promise that I will always cling to in the Bible.