Jabez was a better man than his brothers, a man of honor. His mother had named him Jabez (Oh, the pain!), saying, “A painful birth! I bore him in great pain!” Jabez prayed to the God of Israel: “Bless me, O bless me! Give me land, large tracts of land. And provide your personal protection—don’t let evil hurt me.” God gave him what he asked. (1 Chronicles 4:10 MSG)
Although Jabez was birthed in pain (hence, the unfortunate name Jabez, meaning “borne in pain”), he didn’t want to be a pain. Another Bible translation puts his prayer this way:
“Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!” And God granted him his request” (NLT). While pain is an inevitable part of life, it’s not meant to define it. There are people who have been through pain, or are in pain, and as a result inflict pain on others. See, Jabez refused to live in pain or to be the cause of pain. He didn’t allow the pain that defined him at birth to determine his destiny.
Because when we walk with God, we have a choice to make. We don’t have to stay where we are. We can walk in freedom and into our destiny. Our future can be much brighter than our past. God answered Jabez’ prayer and He will answer ours when we come into agreement with His good and perfect plan for our lives.