Make Your World Bigger
1 Chronicles 4:9-10
Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother named him Jabez and said, “I gave birth to him in pain.” Jabez called out to the God of Israel: “If only You would bless me, extend my border, let Your hand be with me, and keep me from harm, so that I will not cause any pain.” And God granted his request.
People have studied and practiced the prayer of Jabez for several years now due to a popular book that focused upon this Scripture. While the book may have some very good insights into this man and his prayer, anyone who studies it with the intention of gaining financial prosperity is missing the heart of Jabez. God did not bless Jabez because he was more honorable than his brothers. God blessed Jabez because of his heart toward Him. Jabez did nothing to deserve God’s blessing. God honored his request as an act of grace – undeserved favor.
The name, “Jabez,” actually means “pain.” He came into this world through pain, and his mother named him from the pain she bore. He was a constant reminder of pain to her, and everyone else would recognize him as pain. Imagine being associated with pain all of your life. What a miserable way to live!
We’ve probably all known someone who was a source of pain to us. They are usually people who will not assume proper responsibility for their own lives and become a burden on us or those we love in some way. Anytime we fail to assume responsibility for our own lives and expect someone else to fight our battles for us, we can cause pain. That does not mean that we may not need help or support at times, but those times should be the exception and not the rule. People who cause pain take and do not give in return. They hurt the very people who love them by taking advantage, either financially or emotionally.
Jabez did not want to cause anyone pain. While he had no control over the pain his birth caused, he could determine not to let his life be one that continued to cause pain. He cried out to God and asked Him to extend his border – increase his territory – make his world bigger. Those who cause pain are focused only upon themselves. If they are ever to become responsible individuals, they must make their world bigger and begin to care about others and the effects they have upon them.
God has called us to bigger things than ourselves. If we focus only upon our own little world or concerns and never give into anyone else’s life, we will find ourselves causing pain. God will not extend the territory of those who are self-centered. If we look at the prayer of Jabez as a tool to gain prosperity, we’ve missed the whole point. God has territory for you to gain, but you will not gain it through selfish ambition. Look beyond yourself, find a bigger world waiting for you, and step into it.
Have a blessed day!