Summary: God can help us put the hurts of the past behind us, and offer us a bright future
A. Introduce you to someone you have never met before - JABEZ
1. As you read through I Chronicles, if you blink you’ll miss him
2. Here is a man who will whet your appetite for the things of the Lord
B. Cannot find him in HALL OF FAITH in Heb.11
1. He is not a preacher, prophet or priest - Mr. Average
2. But his example of faith and fortitude is challenging
3. His attitude revolutionary - Jabez - how to turn pain into gain!
I. HIS PERSON
A. Names were very important in Bible times.
1. Usually a name carried a significant message
2. When Rachel gave birth to her final child, she wanted to call him Benoni, but Jacob named him Benjamin. Gen.35:18
3. One means "child of my sorrow" and "of my right hand"
4. God cares about names - Followers of Christ are Christians - Acts 11:26
5. At the Name of Jesus every knee shall bow - Phil.2:9-10
B. The name Jabez means Pain - Distress - Vexation - Sorrow
1. We don’t know why - perhaps difficult birth for mother, or dark discouraging days for the family or nation of Israel.
2. Whatever the reason, Jabez had to wear this name for a lifetime.
3. What a setback and stigma they must have been! Johnny Cash used to sing about “A boy named Sue” and all the ridicule he had to endure.
C. Jabez turned his pain into gain
1. He was able to rise above his situation in life, and was highly respected.
2. His life demonstrates that incredible abilities often emerge from those with the least possibilities.
D. George Frederick Handel one of the world’s greatest musicians
1. Lost his health - right side paralyzed.
2. Lost his wealth - money gone. Creditors seized all he had and threatened to imprison him.
3. But he overcame all of these troubles and triumphed by composing his greatest work - The Halleujah Chorus, part of the great "Messiah"
4. Booker T. Washington - "Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life, as by the obstacles which he has
overcome while trying to succeed."
5. Jabez turned pain into pleasure, distress into delight, vexation into victory and you can do the same. I Jn.5:3; Phil.4:13
6. God can help you deal with past and present pain. Jesus came to “heal the brokenhearted, and to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised” Lk.4:18
II. HIS PRAYER
You can tell much about a person’s spiritual life and relationship with God by His prayers! Jabez was a man of Vision, Ambition, Wisdom, Humility and Strength. He cried out to the God of Israel. This is a BRIEF, BIG, BEAUTIFUL, BLESSED prayer!
A. "Bless me indeed"
1. A man of vision Prov.29:18 Bless me indeed
2. Wanted more than just to finish the race but be a winner.
3. Like Jacob who would not let go until he was blessed - Gen.32
4. Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance, but laying hold of his willingness Matt.7:7
B. "Enlarge my border"
1. Jabez had Ambition - INCREASE, ENLARGE, GROW.
2. He wanted God to expand his opportunities for service. No status quo here!
3. When was the last time we prayed like that? “Take and use me Lord”
4. We need to pray to BE the best and DO the best we can as Christians.
5. Don’t be satisfied with mediocrity. Lets go the extra mile for the Lord.
C. "Thy hand might be with me"
1. Jabez was wise - like Solomon I Kgs.3; Jas.1:5
2. Asked for guidance, and instruction that God would lead him. Prov.3:5
D. "Keep me from harm that it may not pain me" STRENGTH
1. Protection from himself? Sometimes we must overcome ourselves!
2. Protection from the evil one - lead us not into temptation etc. Matt.6:13
3. Keep from sin, and Satan the one who seeks to destroy me. I Pet.5:8
E. His Answer
1. God answered - everything Jabez asked for he received.
2. If we ask according to His will, God will answer I Jn.5:14
3. Let’s be like Jabez - pray BIG prayers and get BIG answer
4. Become a person and people of Prayer - Jas.5:16
III. HIS PRIORITIES - Matt.6:33
A. Put God first - His prayer shows that.
B. Jabez was a man of faith - he turned his pain into gain by crying out to God
C. We must do the same. Stop dragging up the past, with all it’s hurts, pains, disappointments and failure - draw near to God, ask forgiveness, blessing and guidance and move on, forgetting those things behind - Phil.3:13 Must do that while we can!