Character is one of those strange things that is hard to define and harder still to find evidence for. I have sat in church with people who seem to have it all together, but when you catch them at the mall, a different side is revealed. I have known people who were wonderful people, but sickness struck and suddenly their zest for life went with it.

The result of these things is that I am forced to agree with James: character is revealed in times of trouble far more than in times of blessing.  James 1:2-4 (ESV) says “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”  We are matured and revealed when we go through trials.  Our defects are revealed, and we gain the ability to see the weaknesses in our lives.  Hard times show us where we need to grow.

Are you a faithful steward of the blessings God has given you?  The question is answered in trials.  Job was faithful when he lost everything.  Jesus was faithful when His life blood was pouring from him.  Noah was faithful when people laughed at his woodworking project.  Will you be faithful when the stock market dips?  Will you be faithful when your health starts to fail?  Will you be faithful when people laugh at you for questioning scientists?

I watch a paraplegic pray faithfully while a tired man hides in bed.  I see one couple hold together through a miscarriage, while another fights bitterly over finances.  One man is healed, while another remains in pain.  Which is the greater blessing?  Is it better to walk in healing or grace?  Which would you rather have?


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