Born into poverty, Walt Disney grew up to create what he envisioned as the “happiest place on earth.” We all love to read stories about men and women who overcame hardship and went on to bless others. Even more, we can be encouraged to know that God can even use difficult things in our lives for His purpose and glory.
First Chronicles chapter 4 contains a genealogy list. However, the author breaks slightly to communicate to the reader that there was a man named Jabez, a descendant of Judah, who was “more honorable than his brothers” (v. 9). Jabez was held in high esteem by the Lord because of his ability to rely on God even in the midst of struggle and pain
His name comes from the Hebrew word that sounds like pain and the author lets us know that his mother named him this because he was born in pain. Every mother will tell you that childbirth is painful. The pain is a direct result of the Fall. The Lord said to Eve, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor, you will give birth to children” (Gen. 3:16). However, the pain from Jabez’s childbirth stuck with him and he lived a life of pain. In his prayer, Jabez asks God to “bless” him, “keep” him, and “free” him. His prayer is meant to exemplify the power and greatness of God. Jabez shows us that the name we are given or the circumstances we are born into do not define us or determine our destiny. What matters is that God is sovereign, and God is in control (v. 10).
>> Are you in pain today? We have all been born into sin, cursed from birth, and live in a world of suffering, whether physical, spiritual, or emotional. But Jesus says, “Take heart, for I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Pray and ask God to deliver you today.
We cry out to you in our pain. Lord, shelter us from despair, hold us back from hatred, and give us strong faith. Deliver us from evil and bless us, we pray.