“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 4:10.)
What terrible pain I cause others with my sinful ways. Wretched, wretched sin begins in my heart, pulses through my veins, and escapes in the very breath I use to speak. It causes my body to tremble, my heart to pound, and my words to cut like sharp knives leaving deep wounds. Certainly Christ would not behave as I do. Surely I would avoid His eyes if I were standing in His precious presence. Yet all I selfishly pray is, “Help me, Father. Help me be triumphant. Show others the truth in what I say. Let me be victorious,” when I should be saying, “May You be glorified!” Why can I not just utter the words of Jabez?
Only You know my heart, Father. You see the good, the bad, and the ugly within me. You notice the anger that rises like molten lava and spews forth from my very lips; the ugliness that crouches, covered in shadow only to reveal itself when the pressure threatens to become more than I can bear; and droplets of venom hidden within the creases of my soul. Envy whispers greed and self love into my mind and I begin to covet what my neighbor possesses.
“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!”
“Surely He scorns the scornful, but gives grace to the humble.” (Proverbs 3:34. NKJV.)
“Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 5:5-11. NKJV.)
“Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith— to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.” (Romans 16:25-27. NKJV.)
Oh Father, convict me to be prayerful, humble, and obedient to You for “he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.” (Romans 14:23.)