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Many people long to be individuals of character. There are a number of ways to develop our character and the Apostle Paul revealed a significant way to aid in our character development. One of the ways that God builds character is a pathway that we don’t always like to pursue,

And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. — Romans 5:3-5

Our default response to tribulation is usually not rejoicing, but asking, “Why me?” Paul realized that adversity can develop perseverance in our lives. The word perseverance conveys the idea of remaining under pressure and it is the picture of individuals who are not deterred from their purpose, even in the face of adversity and suffering.

Character may be considered the aggregate of one’s traits and characteristics. Dwight L. Moody described character as what you are in the dark. We have a tendency to conflate character and reputation; however, there is a significant difference. Your reputation is who others think you are, but your character is who you really are.

Paul’s description of character depicted the process that metals went through to determine their purity and authenticity. When you persevere through tribulations, you have an opportunity to develop your character. Tribulations are the tests that disclose the quality of your character.

Perseverance reveals what you can do, whereas character demonstrates who you are. Ability is important, but we must not neglect the cultivation of our character. The greatest recompense for your perseverance is not what you get for it, but what you become by it. John Wooden wisely remarked, “ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.”

Proven character results in hope and hope can give you confidence for the future. Hope may be thought as faith in the future tense. Hope gives you the emotional fortitude to continue to persevere, even when you’re are tempted to quit. Hope is the character trait that enables you to continue to persevere in the face of adversity,

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil … – Hebrews 6:19

Are you undergoing a difficult time? God gets some of His best soldiers from the crucible of affliction. Don’t lose heart, keep pressing on. Your ability to persevere leads to the development of your character. Paul Powell reminds us, “God is more concerned about our character than our comfort.  His goal is not to pamper us physically, but to perfect us spiritually.” Realize that perseverance is worth the price. Your character may be manifested in the great moments, but Phillips Brooks taught us that it is made in the small ones – don’t lose heart!


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