November 26, 2004
And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested.
-1 Chronicles 4:10
There’s a case in the Old Testament of a man by the name of Jabez. Most of you have probably heard about this man because there was a book written not too long ago titled, “The Prayer of Jabez.” Some of you are still praying the prayer of Jabez.
Jabez was not known very well in the Old Testament. His name appears in one of those long genealogies of the New Testament. You know, the section that you sort of blank out when reading your Bible? It reads like an obituary column: “And so-and-so lived and he died, and he lived and he died, and the other one lived and he died, and so on.” But right in the middle of the list of names, is the story of Jabez in only a couple of sentences.
“Jabez was more honorable than his brothers.” A man among millions whose story was recorded forever in the Scripture, why did Jabez stand out? It was because he dared to ask God for something great and big in his life. He prayed, “O Lord, that you would bless me indeed.” This was no ordinary blessing, but an extraordinary one.
One might think of this as a selfish prayer, but at the end of verse 10, the Scripture says that God gave him his request. God delights in giving His children good things, and pouring out His blessings upon us. Our God is not reluctant…it is in His nature to give. And when we pray, it is not a matter of overcoming God’s reluctance or twisting His arm, but simply opening ourselves up to receive all that He desires to give us.
It is good and right to give thanks unto the Lord. In addition this holiday season, ask for His blessings in your life and your family’s life. Pray that God would bless you, expand your opportunities to be a testimony of His love and grace, and keep you from temptation and evil things. He loves you and desires your thanks, obedience, and praise, but He also wants to open the floodgates of blessing in your life. Praise God!
THANKSGIVING IS A CYCLE—
OUR THANKFULNESS RESULTS IN GOD’S BLESSINGS,
AND GOD’S BLESSING RESULTS IN OUR THANKFULNESS.