The obscure Old Testament character Jabez is only mentioned in two verses in the Bible.
A reoccurring theme (if two verses can have a reoccurring theme) is pain.
The birth of Jabez is marked by pain and his mom gives him a name to let everyone know that. What a terrible legacy to give a boy, a name that serves as a constant reminder — to him and everyone else — that he caused pain and is likely destined to continue to cause pain.
Jabez could have opted to live up to those expectations, allowing his name to be a self-fulfilling prophecy or he could attempt to overcome it. He chose the latter, asking God to keep him from causing pain.
And God answered that prayer!
Regardless of our past or the hand that life has dealt us, we don’t need to let that define us. We can overcome it and become something else, something better.
God helped Jabez do just that and he can help us to; we only need to ask.
[See 1 Chronicles 4:9-10.]
A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website ABibleADay.com to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.