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  • Writer's pictureHope Stuart

HOPE in Pain

And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, "Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me!" And God granted him that which he requested. 1 Chronicles 4:10 (Prayer of Jabez)


There’s meaning behind every name.  While the meaning of my name, HOPE, is obvious… most names need a bit of research to unlock their meaning.  Just recently, I researched the name Timothy for a friend of mine and discovered his name means Honoring God.  My friend received godly HOPE and inspiration in this discovery of her hubby’s name.  Enter Jabez from The Book of First Chronicles.  His name was listed among many in the fourth verse; however, God inspired the writer of this book to highlight Jabez’ name, stating that he “was more honorable than his brothers.”  Are you intrigued to know what Jabez means?  Keeping in mind that God loves irony, Jabez means… wait for it… “pain, grief, sorrow”.  Why would someone name their child after pain? As the story goes, his mother experienced much pain during Jabez’ birth. Oh my!      


Can you imagine having a name that means pain, grief, sorrow? I thought having the name HOPE was a load to bear!  HOPE’s got nothing on the load Jabez bore during his time on earth.  However, what I love about Jabez is he didn’t hide behind his name in shame.  He used his name as a platform for God’s praise; turning the HOPEless meaning of his name into a name that brings HOPE to those who hear his story and learn from his way to pray (1 Chronicles 4:10).


Jabez provides us with a formula for greatness by modeling a specific, powerful prayer… a prayer that we can apply as a formula of HOPE for our lives.  He asked God to enlarge his coast (kingdom) and keep him from evil so that he couldn’t cause grief (pain).  Jabez discovered God’s secret to greatness.  It’s quite apparent God wants us to know this secret by highlighting Jabez’ name among a list of many names.  We can gain great HOPE from Jabez and how he prayed.  You see, Jabez wanted to be great for God, so he didn’t limit his prayer petitions nor did he horizon God’s power.  As a Child of The King, Jabez asked for king-size blessings that came with greater responsibilities.  Within those big blessings, Jabez prayed a specific, powerful prayer.  He prayed what God put on his heart to pray and… God honored him in a big, king-size way. 


God wants us to feel close to Him and feel His love flowing through us.  As a matter of fact, He encourages us to call Him “Abba” which means Papa.  Papa is considered an affectionate, intimate term, more so than “Father” and even “Dad”.  God wants us to take everything to Him so we can experience a level of intimacy we have never experienced before with anyone else in our lives.  He created us and knows us best.  He wants us to know His character and ways so intimately that people will see HIM in and through OUR thoughts, words, and deeds.  He dwells within believers and He wants us to dwell within Him by going beyond the worldly levels of intimacy.  His intimacy is an intimacy based on love, surrounded by HOPE. 

We find HOPE when we are in the center of God’s will.  We feel deeply connected to God and can hear His voice clearly and distinctly.  Psalm 37:4 says, Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.  When we have a deep relationship with God, we will have an intimate understanding of His will where HIS desires become OUR desires.  You see, God doesn’t have favorites, but He does have intimates.  The intimacy we experience with God is about our willingness to know His Word, His Will, and His Way.  The more we get to know Him, the closer and deeper our relationship becomes because we come to know Him as Abba.  This Father-child relationship is one built on intimate and deep HOPE. 


If you wish to be honored by God like Jabez, you need to honor Him.  Honoring God, places us on God’s Honor Roll of Greatness where blessings abound, and HOPE is abundant.  I promise you; God is eager to place you on His Honor Roll of Greatness.  It’s up to you to decide how close you want to be with God… how intimate you are with Him… how powerful your prayers and petitions are.  When you honor God, you will find HOPE in God.  When you pray powerful and specific prayers, God will honor you, bless you, and fill you with HOPE.


Get in alignment with the will of God.  Pray powerful, specific prayers and expect them to be answered in His Way.  Get close with God and He will honor you.  Be exactly where God wants you to be… intimately in love with Him, His ways, His Word, His Son, and His Spirit.  Get intimate with God and you will be on His Honor Roll of Greatness… an honor roll that is written with His loving hands and sealed with His abundant HOPE… regardless of whether your name means pain or your name symbolizes HOPE.

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption,

whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Romans 8:15


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