1 Chronicles 4:9-10—And Jabez was more honorable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying Because I bare him with sorrow. And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.
A book on this passage has recently become a best seller. The author aptly describes all the implications of this passage, of which I will try to make a brief summary. Jabez means pain. Imagine having a name like that! A name was often an indication of destiny. Jabez refused to accept the destiny handed to him in his name. Instead of yielding to what was handed him, he stood as a man more honorable than his brothers. He held himself to a higher standard. Reaction to difficulty will make or break a person. If you see it as an excuse to justify self and compromise, it will cripple you. If you see it as a reason to strive to an even greater extent, it can be your prodding to a life above the norm. Jabez chose the later. He asked God to change his destiny. He asked for the blessing of God to be on his life and for his territory to be enlarged. Territory implied the space of his influence. We need to ask God to increase our ministry for the sake of the Kingdom of God. Do you desire to be even more effective? He recognized the need for God’s hand to be with him. Then he asked for God to break that destiny that his name held him to. He asked for God to keep him from harm so that he would be free of pain. God granted his request.