Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Keep Me From Harm

Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request. 1 Chronicles 4:10
Jabez was an honorable man of God that prayed a bold prayer and God answered.  This week we are looking at the last part of that prayer ,…and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.
Not even Jesus could live a pain free life because He loved. Neither can we because people will fail us. We can't keep from hurting some people because they place unreal expectations on us and are hurt by their own feelings. But the greatest pain we suffer in life is usually of our own making through our mishandling of our own emotions and sin.  
My thoughts
My reactions to others instead of responses to the situation.
My Desires and Lust
My emotions and anger
My pride and selfishness
My weaknesses and failures
Is our pain most often caused by others or the way we handle others?  Is it what someone did to us or how we handled it? 
The Problem is Me
If I turn hurt to hate the problem is me, not them.
If I turn disappointment to bitterness the problem is me, not them. 
If I turn being abused into being a victim, the problem is me, not them.
Every time we hurt there is a good chance someone else is hurt as well. No man is an Island!  Others are hurt by our weaknesses.  It is understandable that Jabez prayed “God!  Keep me from hurting myself and others in the process.
When Jabez prays to be free "from pain," he is acknowledging that sin always brings grief. We cannot sin and win.  Jabez had a healthy awareness of the evil lurking in his own heart and of the external temptations that were ready to pounce on him as soon as he let his guard down. 
Genesis 4:7 paints a vivid picture of what each of us face on a daily basis. God told Cain, If you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.
God gave us the power through His Holy Spirit in our lives to handle all that comes our way, the blessings as well as the temptations.  We, like Jabez, have to be ready and aware and in continual prayer that He will keep us from evil.  
Scripture to Claim:
What is the source of the wars and the fights among you? Don't they come from the cravings that are at war within you? You desire and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war.  James 4:1-2b

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