Breaking the Pain Cycle

As a result of his hunger for God, Jabez prayed five of the most powerful prayers recorded in the Bible (see 1 Chronicles 4:9-10). Jabez looked to God for help in breaking the pain cycle. He was about to step out of the past and into a new future.

First, Jabez prayed, “Oh, that You would bless me.” He knew that God’s blessing was obtainable. Although his environment would have left anyone feeling undeserving and unworthy, Jabez lifted his sights to see God’s heart.

God has always wanted to bless and empower people. Religion has taught people that He is demanding and difficult, requiring self-abasement. But God is love.

Second, Jabez prayed, “Enlarge my territory.” In his decision to redefine his path, he saw that God would expand his life and his influence.

Third, Jabez prayed, “That Your hand would be with me.” When God’s hand is with us, we are following His lead, taking His directions, and yielding to His influence. We are like a young child walking down the sidewalk with his hand securely in the hand of his father, knowing everything will be all right.

Fourth, Jabez prayed, “That You would keep me from evil.” The kingdom of darkness has no right to any part of our life. God is our Protector, and if we will stay in His loving care, He will keep evil from us and will keep us from evil.

Finally, Jabez asks, “That I may not cause pain!” He was drawing a line in the sand and settling the matter of his redefined life before God. It was as if Jabez was saying, “I will not be the person my environment created. I have been told all of my life I brought only pain, but no more! I am now a blessed person. I am someone with influence, empowered to follow God’s destiny and leadership for my life and free from the threats of the kingdom of darkness.”

And remember how this passage of Scripture ends: “So God granted him what he requested” (v. 10). God was pleased with Jabez.

We can only assume what Jabez’ life became. We have no further insight into this brave man from Scripture. But we do know what God did: He granted Jabez everything he had asked for.

We are not destined to repeat past mistakes of our parents’ negative patterns. Anyone can become free from the wrong ways of thinking, habits, or weaknesses. A person must simply know where to look for help, just as Jabez did. Somehow he knew to look to God.

It was important that Jabez identified the real issue — that he was being defined by the wrong thoughts. He discovered the key to leaving his limits behind: He had to redefine himself through a new relationship with God. As a result, Jabez’ faith forever changed what would define his life.

Today it is faith in God’s Word that will redefine us forever. Faith will say what God says about who we are and what our future can become. We truly can crush the lifelong negative patterns that have defined us in the past. We can think, feel, believe, and live life like we are in Christ and He is in us. We have taken God at His Word, and we are leaving all limits behind!

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