We know very little about Jabez, except that he was more honorable than his brethren, and that he was called Jabez because his mother bare him with sorrow. It will sometimes happen that where there is the most sorrow in the antecedents, there will be the most pleasure in the sequel. As the furious storm gives place to the clear sunshine, so the night of weeping precedes the morning of joy (Psa 30:5). Sorrow the harbinger; gladness the prince it ushers in. Cowper says: “The path of sorrow, and that path alone, Leads to the place where sorrow is unknown.” To a great extent we find that we must sow in tears before we can reap in joy. Many of our works for Christ have cost us tears. Difficulties and disappointments have wrung our soul with anguish. Yet those projects that have cost us more than ordinary sorrow, have often turned out to be the most honorable of our undertakings. While our grief called the offspring of desire “Benoni” (the son of my sorrow), our faith has been afterwards able to give it a name of delight, “Benjamin” (the son of my right hand) (Gen 35:18). You may expect a blessing in serving God if you are enabled to persevere under many discouragements. The ship is often long coming home because detained on the road by excess of cargo; expect her freight to be the better when she reaches the port.
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