Give it to God and trust that He will turn it into blessing.
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
Blessing from pain
Ever since Adam and Eve’s fall from God’s grace, we women have had to endure pain during childbirth. Yet in most cases, such pain is forgotten in the joy of holding our newborn.
God’s blessings come in the least expected ways and times, often during suffering. We hear about the very sick or dying having the joy of seeing an angel or Jesus. We read about martyrs of the Christian faith who, in the midst of torture or deadly flames, have uttered words of blessing and peace. Paul the Apostle suffered misery when chained in prison, yet God blessed him with joy as he sang hymns of praise during his most painful moments.
The book of Chronicles contains one verse, easily overlooked as it is sandwiched between a long genealogical list of names. “Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, ‘Because I bore him in pain.’ 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 4:9)
Jabez’s mother must have suffered a lot of pain when he was born to give him a name that means “pain.” However, her son grew up to be an honorable man of God. As he walked with God in righteousness and justice, his relationship with the Lord became so strong that he could ask for blessing, protection, and removal of the stigma of his name.
The prayer of Jabez is an example of faith and boldness. We could all benefit from praying it for ourselves each day, especially during the times we are in pain. When we feel closed in or even hopeless because of financial worry, poor health or painful memories, we can ask God to remove the barriers so our territory of opportunities will broaden. When we are hurt by a cruel remark, we can ask the Lord to keep His hand on us. When we’re tempted to go back to an unhealthy habit, knowing we’ll experience pain from it, we can ask Him to keep us from evil. When we feel any kind of pain, we can ask with humility and unselfishness that we won’t cause someone else to be hurt.
Lord, thank You for inserting Jabez’s inspirational prayer into Your Word. By faith that is bold and humble, we ask You to exchange our pain with Your blessings of mercy and grace. In Jesus’ name, amen.