"Do I 'Haff' to?"

Categories: Jabez (Prayer of Jabez)

"Do I have to hold on to Daddy's hand? Why? What did I do wrong?"

This is a very common complaint of young children who deep down want to look like they are in total control of the situation.

Now let's look at this from a different point of view. We have asked for God's big blessings; we have asked for growth in our skills, understanding, and influence. And when things looked way beyond our abilities, we wanted God to hold our hand to guide and protect us. Jabez knew that he could do everything right only when he hung on to God's hand. In his prayer, the fourth line is "that you would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!"

So what is evil? Evil is being naughty, saying mean things because we are upset, lying, cheating on quizzes, stealing, or killing. It sounds like the "Thou Shalt Not's" from the Ten Commandments Moses was told to teach the children of Israel when they were out in the wilderness. Deep down, we really do want to be happy and to do what is right even if it means more patience, better behavior, and re-thinking the situation. We also want to be protected from hatred and bad behavior in others.

And what is pain? It is whatever hurts, physically or emotionally. That could include being thrown down, kicked, slapped, bit, or beaten. It is also hurt feelings because of what someone has said to us or about us or because we've been given "the look."

We certainly want to be kind and loving as we grow, learn, and expand our territory. We also want others to respect us. The Golden Rule is "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" (Matthew 7:12). Just our wanting to do well in everything we do is hanging on to God's hand and the result is always only good—for us and for everyone. As long as we are hanging on tight to God's hand, we cannot get ourselves into trouble, and He will quickly move us out of the way of danger or an accident or away from someone who wants to hurt us. It is a "win-win" situation. God does it all, and we just follow where He leads us.

Let's look in the Bible for people who really trusted God, who held His hand.

Noah was told to build an ark because there was going to be a lot of rain that would wash people and their homes away. The ark was a boat bigger than a football field. In addition, there was no rain in sight. But he listened and kept working on the project, and it all came true (Genesis 6-8).

Abraham certainly did not want to sacrifice his son Isaac, but he was ready to do it; then God said he didn't have to. Good thing he listened (Genesis 22)!

Jacob had faked being his twin brother, Esau, and took their father, Isaac's, blessing. That hurt Esau, and Jacob had to leave home for years. You can imagine that Jacob was not looking forward to seeing Esau again, and he had a tough time facing the situation. Yet he had no choice because he had to learn a big lesson. When they did meet again, Esau had forgiven him (Genesis 27-33).

Jesus taught us in the Lord's Prayer: "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." As long as we are holding on to God's hand, we just cannot be tempted. Therefore, we are delivered from thinking and doing evil (Matthew 6:13).

Now another neat thing is the result of Jabez' prayer: "And God granted him that which he requested." And God is and will always be answering our prayer.

But we have to ASK!

To summarize this series of four discussions on Jabez' prayer in I Chronicles 4:10:

    1. ASK God to bless, help, guide, inspire, and supply your needs regularly and in a big way, right now.

    2. ASK to do, say, see, touch, and hear only good as you listen, learn, and grow as a person. This makes everything you try to accomplish bigger and better than you ever dreamed possible, right now.

    3. ASK to hold on really tight to God's hand—even when it is super hard to do—right now.

    4. ASK to be safe, healthy, peaceful, and loving in every single situation because there is no space for being a trouble maker or bully and hurting others or your being hurt while you are hanging on to His hand, right now.

Your requests are being granted, right now. Wonderful adventures are waiting for you! You have a lifetime guarantee of happiness and success 24/7. It's a promise!