Thousands of people, who once lived without hope, have discovered the promises of God’s Word, have believed and have produced faith in their heart and then acted on them. As a result, their lives have been transformed. One such man who lived in Old Testament times was named Jabez. This man’s name means 'sorrow, pain, and trouble.' Every time his name was called, it cried out to him, “Pain! Trouble! Sorrow'! Jabez was probably convinced that he would be confined to weakness, pain and sickness all the days of his life.
But one day he heard about the God of Israel and how God was a covenant keeping, wonder working, all powerful God.
The scripture says in 1 Chron 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 wouldst bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldst keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me!" And God granted him that which he requested.
Jabez changed his destiny the day he began calling upon God. Progress in the kingdom of God or any other area doesn’t happen accidently.
Jabez asked the Lord to bless him and enlarge his coast. The scripture says that God answered his prayer. Dennis Burke said that we can create abundance from God in our futures if we are willing to make changes today.
Here are some things we must do if we want to receive God’s blessings in our life.
- Put God first in our life. God is not opposed to us having things, but God will not tolerate things becoming more important to us than Him. The scripture says in Matt 6:33 “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.”
- Let go of traditions. Someone said, “Every Sunday people carry into church something that is more powerful in their lives than God’s Word. It is their traditions.” But Jesus said in Mark 7:13 “Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition."
- Let go of all reasons for lack. There are always reasons why God’s people are not living in the blessings of God. Proverbs 26:2 says “The curse causeless shall not come.” There are reasons why people do not walk in the promise of abundance and blessing. These include such things as lack of knowledge, failure to give, disobedience, laziness and being unteachable. They will stop the flow of God’s blessings.
- Expect to receive a harvest. Jesus told His disciples to expect to receive when they give. In fact, what they received would be greater than what they gave. In Luke 6:38 Jesus said, “Give and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom.” Just like Jesus told His disciples to expect a return when they gave, He tells us through His Word, that we should do the same.
And like Jabez discovered, our lives should be more than struggling and labouring to just get by. We are not born again to strive but to thrive and increase in every area.
God wants us to be blessed so that we can be a blessing.