Hope Discovery of the Day:
What one man considers small can become great in God’s eyes.
Scriptures of the Day:
1 Chronicles 4:9
“Jabez was more respected than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, for she said, “I experienced pain when I gave birth to him. 10 Jabez called out to the God of Israel, “If only you would greatly bless me and expand my territory! May your hand be with me! Keep me from harm so I might not endure pain!” God answered his prayer.”
“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin.”
Have you ever felt as if you were less than others? Like other people seem to matter more and seem to have a higher purpose? Jabez was named according to the pain he brought his mother. Translated, Jabez means “he makes sorrowful”. Wow. Thanks for the name, mom. Doesn’t seem like a great start. But the Bible says he was respected more than his brothers. Sometimes our weakness makes us more desperate for a great God to step in and redeem us. And when God redeems, small lives are transformed into large testimonies of God’s grace.
The pain that Jabez’ mother experienced seems to be more than what she experienced with Jabez’ brothers. She likely compared them and may have had favorites. But let’s be real, here – birthing any child hurts! More than that, raising them in the LORD can both fill our hearts and crush them. It seems that As a mom, each of my children has contributed both joy and sorrow to my life. This did not lessen or increase their value in my eyes. Each one has strengths and weaknesses. Each one is cherished and loved. God is not looking for perfect people. God uses the places of pain in our lives to draw us near to him and to accomplish his purposes.
In the midst of a rather dismal beginning, Jabez prayed. He did not just accept the label placed on him. He did the most powerful thing he could and God responded. Yes, even the pain, even the sorrows, even the small beginnings are woven into a masterpiece in God’s sovereign plan. Simply miraculous. There is no small in God’s economy. His purpose is always good and His purposes do not fail.
When people judge us for being insufficient they are actually making way for God to demonstrate his sufficiency through us. What one man considers small can become great in God’s eyes. This is what God did in the life of Jabez, who earnestly asked God to use him and He can do it in our lives, too. No need to compare with how God is using others – His purposes are unique to each person. There is room for everyone and the pie we all split in the Kingdom of God just keeps getting bigger.
Like the stubborn seemingly flimsy flower that breaks through the hardened earth or even concrete, God is able to make something beautiful in the midst of a humble beginning. It might seem impossible to those around us, but continuing to seek God’s will and purpose, we will eventually get a breakthrough.
Do not despise small beginnings. God has a way of using things that seem inferior for his Majestic glory.
Lord, You are awesome and faithful! Thank You for using us at all. Increase our territory that You may be known as our gracious, compassionate Savior!