Archive for May, 2010

Bit of Balm for the Broken

A few choice verses for those who maybe suffering through loss or from a shattered heart:

“The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart; and saves those who have a crushed spirit.” Psalm 34:18

“You know my wanderings;
You put my tears into Your bottle;
You record my aches in Your book.
When I cry out to You…
This I know, God is for me.” Psalm 56:8-9

“He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

“He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,…to set at liberty them that are bruised,” said Jesus. Luke 4:18

“He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, … to comfort all that mourn.” Isaiah 61:2

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Psalm 30:5

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.” Psalm 51:17

Possess Your Rightful Possessions

Let me see the hands of all the Christians who spend their days in grief and defeat because we have not taken steps to drive out the enemy from our rightful possession

We need to pray as did Jabez,

“Bless me indeed.”

Jabez was blessed in Judah, his father. It was written for him the Word of God. Jabez could put his finger on the very words of the blessing! He could even put his own name in the verse as if it read thus,

“This is the blessing of [Jabez]; and he said, ‘Hear, Lord, the voice of [Jabez] and bring him unto his people; let his hands be sufficient for him; and be Thou a help to him from his enemies” (Deut. 33:7).

Thus Jabez in Judah was blessed.

Blessed Indeed

Jabez wanted to be blessed indeed. What did it avail to have the words of his blessing in the Book of God while the Canaanite enemy held the valleys of Judah’s inheritance? What blessing was it when he had to stay on the grazing hills and see the entrenched Canaanite in his fruitful valleys (Judges 1:19)? Jabez longed to possess his possessions.

The title-deeds of Judah were given in Joshua 15. Here the valleys as well as the hills were given to Judah and his children. There was the valley of Achor (Joshua 15:7), the valley of the giants (Joshua 15:8) and the valley with the fourteen cities (Joshua 15:33-36). What a loss to Judah–and Jabez–to see the valleys occupied by the Canaanites!

So Jabez prayed to the God of Israel who had given the whole land to Abraham’s seed (Genesis 15:18). This is his prayer:

“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.” (or, “that I might not cause pain.”)

Jabez wanted his coast enlarged, not to include what was his brethren’s, but to include what was his own and was still held by the enemy. Jabez wanted those valleys that were covered with grain, that he might shout for joy and sing (Psalm 65:13).

Jabez wanted his valleys that grew grapes like those of Eshcol.

Jabez wanted the valleys where grew the roses and the lilies that spoke of Him who is “the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the valleys” (Song of Songs 2:1). Jabez prayed for his coast to be enlarged.

He Did Something About It

Jabez did not expect God to send an angel from heaven to drive out the Canaanite. Neither did he look for God to use his brethren to enlarge his coast. Jabez expected God to use him, for it was part of the blessing that

“his hands shall be sufficient for himself.”

So Jabez prayed that “Thine hand might be with me.” Jabez did not intend to pray and just sit still. As far as he was able, this son of Judah was ready to bring his prayer to pass. He girded on his armor to enter his valleys with God. Those valleys would be his when he set his feet upon them (Joshua 1:3). Jabez acted to bring his prayers to pass.

I heard fo a little girl who told her mother about her brother who had made cruel traps to catch God’s little sparrows. She said, “I have prayed to God that he won’t catch one, and I don’t believe he will.”

“How can you be sure?” asked her mother.”

“Well, I kicked the old traps all to pieces.” She did what she could to make her prayer effectual!

Jabez did the same. He looked at the record of his blessing and then looked to God and prayed a prayer of faith. Then he took action by buckling on his sword and counting on God to be with him. This is how God granted, and how Jabez obtained, the “blessing indeed” that he desired.

Like Jabez, we are blessed through the Prince of the house of Judah.

God “hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).

But if we would be blessed indeed we need to “put on the whole armor of God” (Ephesians 6:11). Like the enjoyment Jabez obtained from the fruit of the valleys, we shall enjoy the fruit os the Spirit in our lives only as we go in by faith and possess our possessions.

The enemy will dispute every foot of progress.

We need to be “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit…watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” (Ephesians 6:18).

The Need for Soul Exercise

The prayer of Jabez is very short. It can be prayed in fifteen seconds. But there was much exercise of soul going before it. When the whole soul of Jabez was stirred because of the presence of the Canaanite in the inheritance of the Lord of hosts, then he “called on the God of Israel.”

With his prayer went the needed action, and this man gained that victory that made him in a real way the possessor of his possessions.

May we not rest content with only being blessed in the purposes of God–may we go on to be “blessed indeed.”

If our lives are barren of the evidences of God’s Spirit, let us do something about it! If the valleys do not ring with shouting and song, let us “in the power of His might” drive the giants out!

The Valley of Achor was in Judah’s possessions. “Achor” means “trouble.” Israel is to sing there in a day to come (Hosea 2:15). Many of our greatest blessings come through the valley of trouble. Let us not allow the Canaanite to possess our valley of Achor.

We should know that “all things work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28). In the end, Job’s “valley of Achor” was covered with grain and song.

The darkest hours of our lives can “work for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17). Many of us believers spend our days in grief and defeat because we have not taken steps to drive out the enemy from our rightful possessions. We need to pray the prayer of Jabez of old to be “blessed indeed.”

–Thanks to Leonard Sheldrake for this exhortation