Have you read about Jabez and his prayer in I Chronicles 4:9-10?
—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 4:9-10 (NKJV)
Jabez’s very name meant “pain.” Every time someone called his name, he was identified as one who had caused his mother pain in childbirth. His prayer reflects that this was the way he labeled himself. He prayed that God would keep him from evil so he would not cause pain. Perhaps, you have also determined to pray the prayer of Jabez asking God to enlarge your territory and that His hand would guide and bless you.
I’d like to stretch you a little and consider if Jabez hadn’t lived under the law of the Old Covenant but under the New Covenant Grace of Jesus. Do you think his life and his prayer might have been different?
If Jabez had lived under New Testament Grace, as a believer he would have been a new person in Christ. The past and pain in his life would have been completely wiped away. He would have no longer been known as Jabez—one who caused pain. The name which labeled him would have ceased to be his identity.
Pain is related to trauma. Some terms that are the opposite of traumatizing are comfort, create, receive, and restore. As a new person, Jabez would have experienced and been comforted by the new creation He was in Christ. He would have received the fullness of God in his born-again spirit. And in the process of transforming His mind by the Truth of God’s Word, he would have been completely restored by the power of the Holy Spirit! His past would have been crucified with Christ, and Christ would have lived within him. Jesus would have been his identity and not a label that said he caused pain.
Don’t accept labels that the world or anyone else has given you. People will declare things about you that are not the Word of God. They might see you a certain way, but when you know your identity in Christ, you know the old things that have identified you are gone You must have a determination that you are going to believe who Christ says you are.
God granted Jabez’s prayer. But Jabez cried out to God asking for something that as a believer under New Covenant Grace, He would have already had. By the gift of Christ’s life, Jabez’s life would have already been blessed out of the abundance of His relationship with Jesus. As a believer, Jabez would have known that God had declared Him free from sin and labels and lies and pain.
What has God declared about you? You are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. You don’t have to earn anything to take away what the world or others or your past have labeled you. Jesus took it all away for you when He gave His life for you. What provision has God made for your life? His riches in glory are yours. You are called, justified, and gloried in Christ!
Jesus has redeemed you from the curse of the law! Be thankful you are not under Old Covenant law like Jabez! You are under Grace! Can you imagine Jabez’s prayer as a believer in the redeeming love of Christ?
“Praise you, Lord, that I am no longer a person whose very name means pain! I am new! My past is no longer who I am or what others say about me. I am who you say I am! Praise you for enlarging my life to overflowing! I receive the abundant life you died to give me! I cannot contain all the blessings! Thank you for the authority you have given me to stand against the evil one. I exercise what you have given me, and I speak death to the enemy’s lies. I’m no longer known as Jabez! I am restored in you! My name is your name. I’m redeemed!”
Jabez would have grabbed hold of his new identity in Christ and been free from who he had always been. How about you? God calls you called, justified, and glorified. What shall you say to these things? Don’t accept the labels that have defined you. You are new in Christ.
©2021 Lynn Lacher