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Eternal Perspectives: God Blesses Us in the Midst of Pain

The Lord’s blessings, His unending gifts, are heaped upon us every day. And when we want even more, He is there to bless us again, through every situation we face.

Eternal Perspectives by Sally Bair

The Lord Bless You

God’s blessings come in many ways and times, even during suffering. Women, for instance, endure the pain of childbirth yet are filled with the blessing of joy at the cry of their newborn. And we hear about the very sick or dying having the joy of seeing an angel or Jesus. We read about martyrs of the Christian faith who, in the midst of torture or deadly flames, have uttered words of blessing and peace. Paul the Apostle suffered misery when chained in prison, yet God blessed him with joy and deliverance as he sang hymns of praise during his most painful moments. Jesus, too, though knowing He would suffer, endured “for the joy set before Him,” the joy of love and salvation for us by way of His cruel death.

The book of Chronicles contains one of my favorite verses, squeezed between a long genealogical list of names. “Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, ‘Because I bore him in pain.’ And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, ‘Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!’ So God granted him what he requested.” (1 Chronicles 4:9)

Perhaps Jabez’s mother suffered so much birth pain that she gave him a name that means “pain.” However, her son grew up to be an honorable man of God, so strong in faith that he felt compelled to ask Him for blessing, protection, and removal of the stigma of his name.

The prayer of Jabez is an example of faith and boldness and humility, a reminder that whether we feel closed in or even hopeless because of financial worry, poor health, or painful memories, we can ask God to remove the barriers so our territory of opportunities will broaden. When we are hurt by a cruel remark, we can ask the Lord to keep His hand on us. When we’re tempted to go back to an unhealthy habit, knowing we’ll experience pain from it, we can ask Him to keep us from evil. When we feel any kind of pain, we can ask with humility and unselfishness that we won’t cause someone else to be hurt.

Lord, thank You for reminding us through Jabez’s inspirational prayer that You are the true source of blessings. Make us aware of each blessing You bestow on us, whether we are happy or sad, comfortable or in pain, calm or anxious. Like Jabez, fill us with Your blessings of mercy and grace and much more. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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