“And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested” (1 Chronicles 4:10).TEXT — 1 Chronicles 4:9,10
Many people are given to seeking the easy way out of their challenges. Sometimes, they excuse themselves by blaming other people for their ill fortune. It does not occur to them that whatever is the cause of their challenges, they can actually alter the course of their lives for good by a deliberate action.
Jabez had more than enough reasons to pass the buck for the problems he faced in life. Literally speaking, he was a child of sorrow. The Bible does not give details of the challenges associated with his conception and birth. The only hint of his appalling condition was given by his mother. She named her child Jabez, “…saying, Because I bare him with sorrow.” It seemed that from that moment onwards, wherever Jabez went, whatever he touched, irrespective of the efforts he put to the work, it always ended in disappointment and sorrow.
He could have resigned himself to this fate and lived a shattered or hopeless life. But as soon as he became awake to his seemingly perpetual misfortune, he resolved to do something about it, to change his life story. To do this, the only option he could imagine was to turn to God. He “called on the God of Israel,” to bless, enlarge, protect and preserve him from evil occurrences so that the grief that trailed his path in life would be brought to an end. “And God granted him that which he requested.”
Jabez presents a veritable example for all who may be facing dire conditions in life. It may be in the form of inability to live to please God, despite all efforts. The antidote is to turn to God and earnestly plead for His mercy and ask for a change in specific areas of your life. His promise is certain: “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it” (John 14:14).
Thought for the day
The greatest gifts God has given us include the power to dream, act and the privilege of prayer.
- in one year
- DEUTERONOMY 17-20 (Read By Alexander Scourby)