What is character? It is who we are and what we do behind closed doors. It is the manifestation of what we believe about ourselves and others. It is like an inward identity, the hidden part of our heart. Our thoughts are clothed with intentions that come from what we believe in our heart. Our thoughts become actions, which display an inner attitude.
I love Hebrews 4:12 which says that God’s word, “…is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” The Lord knows everything. He knows our thoughts before we think them. We certainly don’t know or understand our thoughts, when hidden pain or sin seeps into our thought process. That is beyond us.
Integrity is a great character quality. Proverbs 11:3 says, “The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them.” Integrity is words and actions that are the same. There is no pretense or self-deception. Integrity is an expression of a pure heart. Matthew 5:8 says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Luke 4:4 Amplified says, “…Man shall not live and be sustained by (on) bread alone but by every word and expression of God.”
God expresses His character through Who He is and what He does. 2 Peter 1:4 says, “By which have been give to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be PARTAKERS of the divine nature…” We come to know and experience God’s way for us as being a partaker of His nature through our trials.
He reveals His character to us in the crucible. When He entered the blazing fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, He displayed His invincible, indestructible, and unconquerable nature. Here is His promise to us. Isaiah 43:2 says, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.”
He also uses our trials to develop our character. Hidden dross contaminates it. Pressure, hardship, and impossible circumstances are some of God’s exacting means to bring it to the surface. Here is the progression. Romans 5:3-4 says, “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character, and character hope.” Without trials we would not grow in character. We would remain stunted and unfruitful.
I would encourage you to think about what you believe and do when you are facing with a new trial. Your behavior reveals your character. We are called with a holy calling. We are chosen to bear fruit that will glorify the Lord. We are equipped through His word to endure. We are transformed as we behold Him. We partake of His nature through our thoughts. It always goes back to our thoughts.