Jabez cried to the God of Israel, saying, Oh, that You would bless me and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and You would keep me from evil so it might not hurt me! And God granted his request. I Chronicles 4:10
Many of you may have heard of Jabez (whose name means sorrow maker) or have read the book about Jabez’s prayer. It’s interesting to learn that Jabez was considered honorable ‘above his brothers,’ though we are not really told why. What we do know is the prayer that he uttered to God. I think there are lessons to learn from this short prayer that stands out dramatically in the book of I Chronicles.
First of all, it’s ok to ask God to bless us. I think sometimes we feel selfish when we do. Many Scriptures talk about the blessings God has in store for us.
Where I become uncertain is in the manner we might come to expect those blessings. If we are not healed of our illnesses, does that mean God is not blessing us? If he says, “No,” when we pray for relief for our friends and family – or even strangers – does that mean God is not blessing us?
I looked up the word ‘blessing’ on BibleGateway.com and found 89 different references to it. Two immediately caught my eye.
And the Levites—Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah and Pethahiah—said: "Stand up and praise the LORD your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting. " "Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise."
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
I read that we are blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ. What are those blessings exactly? I’d need to be a biblical scholar to say for sure … But I’m pretty sure that the first blessing we receive is Christ – and our opportunity to come to him, broken … and be made whole … spiritually.
I don’t know about you, my dear readers, but for me, my challenges are spiritual ones as well as physical. I start to doubt God – argue with Him – get mad at Him – and have even at times in the past turned completely away from Him.
But it seems I can’t stay there. He woos me back every time. All I need do is listen … and humbly ask.
“Lord, bless me, indeed.”
Father God, Thank you that there are blessings in store for us - even though we might not be able to even imagine them today. Help us to trust that You will do just as You say and bless us with every spiritual blessing, in whatever form it takes. Amen and amen.
Comments are both welcomed and encouraged! I try to respond to each comment. (There is a place to mark in the comment section if you wish to be notified of replies.)
For my email friends - have you visited the Encouraging Words website? You can find devotionals listed by topics, visit the archives, and leave your thoughts on this post (or anything else you'd care to share!) Just click on the link. :)