Free from Pain
"...so that I will be free from pain." 1 Chronicles 4:10 NIV
God doesn't want you to struggle in pain. God wants you to experience abundant life!
As Jabez prayed for God to keep him from harm, he also asked Him that he may be free from pain. I think the two requests are inter-related. When you experience harm (some versions say "evil"), you will experience great pain. With evil comes pain.
Sin is bruiser of people. Have you noticed that? I have witnessed so many homes and lives destroyed by the sins of this world; alcohol, adultery, money, greed, and the quest for power, just to name a few. Once good, solid homes are torn apart by the harm of this world and innocent people often suffer along with the guilty. When two people divorce, it is not just the husband and wife who suffer, but everyone who knows them. When one man allows anger to build in his heart, it affects so many around him. The number who are harmed by the effects of sin greatly outnumber the offenders. Sin has consequences that can last for generations.
Jabez knew this fact. I suspect he knew it first hand. He surely knew the pain that came from being harmed by reputation at birth. Being named for the pain associated with childbirth certainly would have taken its toll on what others thought of him. Perhaps he knew enough to ask for God's protection from the pain associated with sin.
Is there sin around you? Do people you know participate in sin that could cause you harm? Does someone you are close to hurt your feelings, talk bad about you, or just live a life that causes you dismay? Does the sin of this world scare you today? Ask God to keep you from the pain associated with these sins. Ask him to protect you the way he protected Jabez.
God may allow the sin around you to continue for a time, but He may encircle you with the grace to be kept from the pain that sin may cause.