“And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, ‘Oh, that You would bless me indeed.’ ” I Chronicles 4:10a
In Hebrew, the name Jabez (יַ֠עְבֵּץ) means “Pain” or “Painful.” Why did his mother name him Jabez? Perhaps it was a difficult pregnancy or delivery; or due to emotional pain – maybe his father left during the pregnancy or died. Whatever her reason, this was not a good start for this boy.
We don’t have to let our past determine the present or even our future. Maybe your parents told you you’d never amount to anything, you can’t do anything right, you’re nothing but a pain. Don’t listen to those lies. Jabez did not. He turned his pain into gain. How?
He handled his problems by handing them over to God. He chose to live a life that was honorable to God in spite of his painful beginning. He prayed to the God of the universe. It’s as if he was saying, “God you know me, you know my mom called me a pain, and at times I have been. But now I want to break out of that rut and I know the only way I can do that is if You will bless me. I want to live a life, God, that is more honorable to You.”
To ask for God’s blessing means to ask for His supernatural favor, His kindness to be poured out into our lives. “Oh, God pour out Your goodness into my life.”
The word “indeed” (תְּבָרֲכֵ֜נִי) is like adding five exclamation points. “Bless me not just a little, but a whole lot! Pour it on, God!!” He does not tell God how to bless him. He doesn’t ask for money or popularity or a new house. He lets God determine how to bless him. While all his friends were content with being average and mediocre, Jabez said, “God I want you to bless the sandals off of me! I want you to do something big with my life!” Jabez did not want to be average or ordinary. He deeply wanted God’s blessing on his life.
A lot of Christians just drift through life today. They have no goals and no ambition. As a result, they never accomplish much for the Lord. They are merely existing. Every one of us needs a dream from God. If we are not dreaming, we are drifting. When we stop dreaming, we start dying. When we stop setting goals, we stop growing. God made you for growth. He wants you to stretch and develop. God never created you to go through life with a halfhearted attitude, wondering what you are doing and where you are going. God wants you to have great ambition. He dares you to ask for big requests.
“Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3). Paul says that God “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20). This means you cannot out-ask God. You cannot out-dream God. If you could stretch your imagination to the greatest limits of what you think could possibly happen, God can go far beyond even that. He can go beyond your imagination. God says, “Trust Me. Ask for things. Get a big dream.”