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Summary: Take the Jabez Challenge and see if God won't enlarge your territory.

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Turning Your Pain Into Gain

I Chronicles 4: 9-10

Billy Graham was in a revival some years ago. There was a man there, who had gone through many problems and difficulties. When the invitation to Christ was extended he accepted Christ as his savior. Soon his life began to change and he felt like he could overcome whatever came his way. So after the blessings of God manifested in his life he sat down and began to write:

It is no secret what, God can do!

What he’s done for others, He’ll do for you!

With arms wide open, He'll pardon you

This text serves as a testament of those words, for it shows each of us that God blesses those who seek and trust Him. We find here, buried in the genealogies of the Old Testament, a man called Jabez. Little is known of this biblical character. He seems to be misplaced here in this verse coming from nowhere and headed for somewhere. He comes in at verse nine and leaves at verse eleven, two verses, and yet there is something more, there is a substance, and solitude to this man.

In his obscure existence, we may each find a lesson on life. His mother calls him Jabez, because he was born with much sorrow.

In the days in which he was born, they took considerable time naming a child. Names have meaning, and so the name of Jabez signifies what his mother thought when she named him. Jabez in the Hebrew means “One who causes pain.” How would you like to go through life being known as one who causes pain?

It is so often, tragic, what parents do to their children. The harsh words, the painful memories of childhood, some have endured, being told they will not amount to anything in life.

Imagine having a name that brings back unpleasant memories, Jabez, one who causes pain, and if he grew up with the type of children I grew up with he probably would have walked in the classroom and seen a bottle of Tylenol, Bayer, or Aspirin sitting on his desk. When pain comes take one! Here comes pain! Here comes pain! Imagine being made fun of or told by others you were nothing but a pain. I want you to listen well today, because some of us need to break out of the living we’re in, and experience the pleasure God wants to bring. First of all realize…

I. Your Past Does Not Have to Determine Your Present.

You can live with the name and the reputation that name makes for you, or you can decide to live the way God determined. I have resolved to live the greatest life I possibly can, to look for the good in life instead of looking at the pain. About three years ago, my mother said something to me that helped me to exercise this method. I was telling her that I had some traumatic experiences in the past. She responded so eloquently with a three-word interrogative. She said, “Okay who hasn’t.” and when I thought about that I found out what she was saying nicely was, “GET OVER IT!!!” I submit to you today that perhaps there is someone here right now who needs to get over some things, get over what people used to do to you, what people said about you, what you did not deserve, what you should have received GET OVER IT!! The reason many of us miss opportunities in life is because we have our backs turned to the door of the future and our eyes are on nothing but the past. Let Go of The Past! Yesterday is today’s dead sister, and tomorrow is today’s unborn sister. Let Go of the Past!

Everybody suffers, everybody has problems, and we all have pains. The question though is, how are we going to deal with it? If everybody dwelled on their past, nothing would be achieved we would all be stuck. And I’m afraid that is what has occurred with many of us. Don’t allow your past Trauma to give you present day Drama.

Look the Bible says in:

Psalm 139 ...that I am fearfully and wonderfully made…

Jeremiah 29:11 says I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future.

In other words God has a purpose for you. It is up to you to find out what God wants you to do!

I resolved in my mind, not to wallow in the past but to live today.

We need to be optimistic about our lives. Consider the little boy, Michael. Michael was a fifth grader, who decided to run for president of the student council. During the “campaign,” Michael and his little brother went to the pediatrician for a checkup. The doctor, saw the campaign buttons, and said that he had run for president of the student council when he was in the sixth grade, but he lost. A few days later, Michael called his mom with the election results. He said, “Well mom, it looks like I’m going to be a doctor!”

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