In the midst of family trees found in 1 Chronicles, we find verse 10 of chapter 4, often called the “Prayer of Jabez.” This prayer is not a magical formula to receive God’s blessings. Rather, this sincere and heart-felt prayer is more of an example of praying in honesty and fervency.
Backing up to verse 9, we find that Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, although the Bible doesn’t give us a clue as how his brothers were dishonorable or if they just were not as honorable as Jabez. What is apparent, is that Jabez took his faith in God seriously and knew that blessings came from God. So what did Jabez ask for? He asked for God’s blessing, to give him more land, that God’s hand would be with him, that God would keep him from evil and that he would cause no one pain.
To ask God to bless us is asking God to give us good things. The Greek word translated blessed in the Sermon on the Mount means to be fully satisfied. It refers to those receiving God’s favor, regardless of the circumstances. Certainly there is an elements of material blessings, such as wealth, successful career, a loving marriage relationship, health, good children, etc., but our true blessings are more spiritual in nature. Earthly blessings can come and go, but spiritual blessings are eternal. In the Sermon on the Mount, in Matthew chapter 5, we find that those who are blessed are those who are poor in spirit, those who mourn, those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, and those who are reviled and persecuted. Doesn’t’ sound like much of a blessing, does it? The blessing is not in the trail or suffering itself. We find the blessing as the trail we are going through opens the door for God to show us His love, protection, provision, and grace. Luke 11:28 says we are blessed when we hear the Word of God and keep it. Romans 4:7 says we are blessed when we are forgiven. James 1:12 says we are blessed if we stay steadfast under trials. And in Revelation 14:13, those who die in the Lord are blessed and in Revelation 19:9 those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb are blessed. Spiritual blessings far outweigh earthly material blessings and spiritual blessing last for eternity where earthly material blessing only last for a while.
Second, we find that Jabez ask that God would enlarge his territory, meaning he was asking God to give him more land. The Bible doesn’t tell us why Jabez needed or wanted more land. Maybe it was to plant more crops or because he wanted more land for his livestock to graze. Either way, Jabez was asking God to increase his wealth.
Next Jabez asks that God’s hand would be with him. This is a prayer for both guidance and protection. 1 Chronicles 29:12 says, “Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone.” The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 138:8, “The LORD will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.” And Psalm 145:16, he wrote: “You open Your hand And satisfy the desire of every living thing.” We also find in the Bible that God’s hand was on people and nations to bring judgment for sin. Perhaps this is why Jabez’s next request was for God to keep him from evil.
We should, like Jabez, ask God to keep us from evil. Satan roams the earth just looking for someone he can trip up. Sometimes it doesn’t take much for us to slip up. Why? Satan has been at his work for a very long time. He’s had from the time Eve bit into the fruit in the Garden of Eden to study the human race. He’s also had your lifetime to study you. He knows your likes, dislike, passions, desires, wants, needs…and he know the best way to tempt you. This is why Paul told us to put on the armor of God. Everyday there are unseen spiritual battles going on around us. When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, Jesus gave a model for us to follow. Within the model prayer, Jesus included the phrase, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” So asking God to keep us from evil is something we should do every day – and probably often throughout the day.
Lastly, Jabez asked God to ensure Jabez would not cause anyone any pain. In verse 9, we find that his mother named him Jabez saying, “because I bore him in pain.” The name “Jabez” means pain. So it becomes more insightful that Jabez closes his prayer with a plea to God that he would cause no one pain. It’s difficult to go through life and never cause another person pain. Sometimes its intentional – other times we don’t mean to, but it happens. So we can ask God to bless us and others by ensuring we don’t cause pain to anyone.
While Jabez’ prayer is not a magical formula for riches and prosperity, we can use it as an example in our own prayers. There is nothing wrong with asking God for any of the blessings from Jabez’ personal prayer to God. We do find at the end of verse 10 that God granted Jabez’ requests. However, we also need to point back to the beginning of verse 9 that stated Jabez was an honorable person. God’s blessings often come with our obedience to Him and knowing what God’s will is for us and then trusting God to provide us with His very best, even if that does not match what we think it should be. Instead of looking for a magical formula to gain God’s blessings, focus on living a life of obedience to God. His blessings are sure to follow.
Don’t forget to learn this week’s memory verse:
Memorize and hide in your heart one memory verse each week in 2020. If you didn’t start the challenge at the beginning of the year, just jump in now and be sure to sign up to get our weekly Memory verse in your email so you don’t miss a week.
This week’s memory verse:
But I will look to the Lord;
I will wait for the God of my salvation.
My God will hear me.
#hope #waitingonGod #revival #WCM
We have few new items to show this week:
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#Micah7:7 #hope #waitingonGod #teespring #spreadshop
This week’s featured items are some of the products you will find on the subject of hope. We’ve also included some of the graduation gifts and teacher gifts that are available.
At Christian Book Distributors you will find Bible Studies, books, gifts, and more to help you grow your faith and often at discounted prices from other places.
Our organization receives an 8% commission on any item you purchase through these links. However, the product price is the same for you. There is no increase in your cost for us to receive the commission. All commissions received support the work and ministry of Wellspring Christian Ministries. Enter the site through any of the links below and browse the online store. Any item you purchase through ones of our links will qualify for us to receive the commission.
|Hope. LifeGuide Topical Bible Studies
By Jack Kuhatschek / InterVarsity Press
Sometimes hope becomes so real that it’s almost tangible. But other times–especially when tragedy or hardship crashes down on us–we wonder whether our hopes will break down apart and leave us exposed, vulnerable and overwhelmed. These studies explore both sides of hope–confronting doubts and fears, but reminding us of the great joy that awaits us in Jesus Christ. 8 studies for individuals or groups with notes for leaders.
|Finding God in the Broken Places, Women of Faith Study Guide Series
By Patsy Clairmont / Thomas Nelson
Adapted from Patsy’s book All Cracked Up!, Finding God in the Broken Places helps women see that even in the midst of pain, a fractured life can be a happy life. Using her characteristic humor, she shares how we can move from broken to bedazzled by embracing our fragments and resting in the assurance that we have a Savior who knows how to piece them back together again. Includes 12 weeks of study, discussion/reflection questions, and a facilitator’s guide.
|Waiting: A Bible Study on Patience, Hope, and Trust
By Sharla Fritz / Concordia Publishing House
|Everyday Hope: Holding Fast to His Promise
By Katie Orr / New Hope Publishers
Are you desperate to experience the hope of Christ in the everyday? Everyday Hope – an easy-to-use, four-week study – will help you discover how to hold fast to God’s promises amidst feelings of hopelessness. Exploring God’s Word in as few as 15 minutes a day, you’ll learn more about His promises as they apply to you now and in the everyday moments to come.
|Unafraid Leader Guide: Living with Courage and Hope – eBook
By Adam Hamilton / Abingdon Press
|The Joy Stealers Leader Guide: 5 Obstacles to Hope and Happiness – eBook
By Rob Renfroe / Abingdon Press
|When The Going Gets Tough – Study Guide
By Discovery House
When your journey through life comes to a series of ups and downs, holding on and sustaining the ride can be tough. This study, excerpted from Joe Stowell’s book The Upside of Down, offers you hope and encouragement. You’ll explore the seven different types of trials and gain a better understanding of why God allows them. Discover how you can stay the course and respond to challenges through the confidence of God’s Word. Six Studies for Groups or Individuals.
|Finding Hope When Life Seems Dark: Hosea, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah
By Kay Arthur / Harvest House Publishers
In this booklet you’ll study five of the prophets who ministered to both the northern and southern kingdoms before the exile of the southern kingdom to Babylon. Though God commissioned His prophets to preach unique messages to different audiences, He gave them a common theme—hope when life seems dark. As you study these, you too will find hope. Group or individual study includes a daily guide to help you discover truth for yourself, questions for discussion, a thought for the week, and a memory challenge.
By Michelle McKinney Hammond / Harvest House Publishers
In How to Get Past Disappointment Michelle McKinney Hammond explores the biblical story of the woman at the well. Hope awaits those who are willing to open their hearts to Jesus during disappointments in life. Jesus is merciful and his blessings are attainable. This book has study questions pertinent to the 6-session DVD study that encourages women to assess where they are in their relationship with Christ.
|2020 Graduation Keyring
By Cathedral Art Metal Co
Class of 2020 diploma keyring in graduation cap gift box;inspiring, practical, affordable.
|Jeremiah 29:11 Graduation Frame
A unique gift to honor the Christian graduate, and a handsome diploma frame; space for photograph, tassel and your diploma in classic dark frame 25″ wide x 14.75″ high.Double matting with gold; space for 4″ x 6″ photo; Scripture verse quote “For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11.
Suitable for high school, college graduation, or graduate degree; a lifetime milestone keepsake.
Classic dark frame with glass; ready to hang on the wall.
|2020 The Places You’ll Go Graduation Bracelet, Silver
By Cathedral Art Metal Co
Graduation bangle bracelet, trending style with charms for the class of 2020.Adjustable silver-tone bracelet with charms: 2020 medallion, Pray tag, crystal bead, and hammered charm engraved – Oh, the places you’ll go!. Gift boxed in mortarboard graduation cap with tassel.
Quote from Dr. Seuss; bestselling grad bracelet.
Bestselling grad gift.
|CSB Nurse’s Bible, Navy LeatherTouch
By Holman Bible Publishers
The CSB Nurse’s Bible features 7-point type in a convenient, easy-to-carry compact size, in addition to an extended devotional section containing 60 pages of information and inspiration for those medical professionals who form the frontline of healthcare around the world. The extended devotional section includes articles, prayers, and spiritual guidance provided by the Nurses Christian Fellowship/USA and edited by Judith Allen Shelly, R.N. B.S.N., M.A., D.Min, who has won numerous awards from the Evangelical Press Association. The CSB Nurse’s Bible is a special gift for nurses that they will be sure to treasure for years to come.
Other features include:
The CSB Nurse’s Bible features the highly reliable, highly readable text of the Christian Standard Bible (CSB), which stays as literal as possible to the Bible’s original meaning without sacrificing clarity. The CSB’s optimal blend of accuracy and readability makes Scripture more moving, more memorable, and more motivating to read and share with others.
|Praying God’s Word: Breaking Free from Spiritual Strongholds, Paperback Edition
By Beth Moore / B&H Books
Beth Moore’s #1 perennial best-selling book Praying God’s Word is now available in paperback. In this book, Beth encourages everyone to overcome the spiritual strongholds in their lives by incorporating Scripture into their daily prayer. No matter how overwhelmed you may feel today, Moore boldly reminds us that nothing is bigger or more powerful than the Lord. With this landmark book we learn to wield the sword of the Spirit, praying God’s Word to break free from anything that has a hold on us until the joy and authority of Christ rules in our lives. Paperback.
|2020 Graduate Tee Shirt, Large (42-44)
By Red Letter 9 Inc
Class of 2020 Graduation t-shirt, with bold collegiate design and Scripture quote from Jeremiah 29:11; “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Order early for senior photos, trips, and celebrations!
|2020 Graduation Throw
By Simply Home
Graduation throw blanket, Class of 2020, with ivy design, cap and diploma, and Scripture verse. “For I know plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11.
|God Has Great Plans For You Journal, Faux Leather, Gray
By Brownlow Gifts
|101 Blessings for a #1 Teacher
By Christian Art Gifts
Box of 50 Scripture cards and encouraging quotes, a box of blessings for teachers. Inspirational gift of 50 double-sided cards attractively packaged in a box to keep in a pocket, purse, or desk. Box is 2.5″ x 3.75″ x 1″; each card is 2.25″ x 3.25″.
|Teach Inspire Motivate Tumbler with Straw
By Christian Art Gifts
Gift idea to inspire and thank that very special teacher: trending artisan design and words of encouragement and appreciation in fresh new design elements.Plastic tumbler with straw holds 16 ounces; double-walled; tested for lead/BPA free. Not for mw/dw.
Teach, Inspire, Dream
|The Influence of a Teacher Can Never Be Erased Framed Art
By P Graham Dunn Inc.
Light as a Feather Collection
|Best Teacher Ever Glass Water Bottle
By Christian Art Gifts
Water bottle designed with a great teacher in mind
|In God We Trust, Flag, Shirt, Navy Blue, Large
We are so blessed to live in America, and enjoy the privilege of sharing our faith out loud. We can worship God, meet together at church, pray anywhere, and any way we want to. Share your heart for the Lord and our great nation in this “In God We Trust” witness tee from Kerusso®
Front: In God We Trust
|Stand Strong, Soldiers, Shirt, Black, X-Large
A cool, inspirational T-shirt is an easy way to open the door to casual conversations about faith. Introduce everyone you meet to His Word when you wear this “Stand Soldiers” shirt from Kerusso®!
This awesome tee will remind you, and those around you, that fighting the good fight is a lifelong gig, and God puts us in certain places, at certain times, to lend love, strength, and courage to those around us who also seek God’s face.
|Be the Warrior God Called You to Be Shirt, Black, Large
By Kerusso Hold Fast
When you give your life to Jesus, you need not walk in the shadow of fear, or worry about defeat. Not one of us has to do battle alone. Because of faith, we can claim victory in the name of Jesus. Lend courage to others and share this Good News by wearing this Christian “Warrior” t-shirt.
Front: Be The Warrior God Called You To Be 1 JN. 5:4
Left sleeve: Hold Fast
Celebrating American heritage, patriotism, and faith in God, Kerusso’s Hold Fast™ Christian apparel line is designed for individuals who follow has faith in God, his country, and in his family, and isn’t afraid to show it! All items in this fearless line are pro-military, pro-veteran, pro-faith, pro-family, and pro-freedom!
And of course we’ve included our CEO’s book:
God, Love, and Marshmallow Wars: 365 Daily Challenges to Grow Your Marriage
By Julia M. Bruce / WestBow Press
There’s no doubt that marriage is hard work. Yet it can also be one of the most fulfilling relationships you can experience, outside of your relationship with God. However, many marriages leave God outside of the relationship. Godly marriages do not happen without cultivating it, investing in it, and putting God first in your individual lives and in your marriage.
This book includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:
• Scripture to memorize and meditate on
• Conversation Starters
• Concepts from the Bible on Godly marriages
• Romance Builders
• Relationship Builders
• Personal reflections
• Date ideas
• Group date ideas for you and other Christian couples