“The Reason Why Many Die in The Desert of their Afflictions”
As we end this series, I must address something very important; I guess you can take it as a warning. Many are dying in the desert of their afflictions! Many will never understand why they are going through what they are going through. Many will chose to live their lives feeling sorry about themselves. Many will never understand God’s love and the reasons why we suffer. Many will find pleasure in seeing themselves as victims and walking around like the world owes them something. Many are using suffering and the injustices that our ancestors suffer as an excuse to allow the selfishness of the flesh to take over their way of thinking. Suffering is not a ticket for you to be able to do, say and treat people according to how you “feel;” suffering, as you saw in this series, has three ultimate purposes:
To break us so that we can arrive at the end of self.
For God to be able to share His holiness with us.
To be able to see God as we enjoy a deeper intimacy with Him.
Because suffering is so emotionally charged and at times overwhelming for our souls, we receive a very clear warning in Hebrews 12:14-15.
“14 Pursue peace with all people…
15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled…”
1. Pursue Peace with Everyone: We must make sure that we pursue peace with everyone. Because God uses circumstances and people to reveal what is in our hearts; there is a tendency for us to get upset at the very people God is using to expose our mess and bring it to the light. We personalize our pain; look at it from a worldly point of view and not from a Biblical point of view. That is why the warning is clear; we must pursue being at peace with everyone; it is not about them, it is about you; it is not about their faults, it is about yours. Let God deal with them; you make sure that you allow God to deal with you.
2. Be Careful that you Don’t Fall Short of God’s Grace: It is very normal for people to associate falling from grace to the scandals of many pastors or Christians in general that are caught in despicable acts. However, we pay little or no attention to the fact that many of us have indeed, fallen from God’s grace by allowing “root[s] of bitterness” to spring up in our hearts. Bitterness is associated with hard bondage and misery. The word “bitterness” is defined as: “Angry and resentful.” When we are bitter, we are angry at people and even at God. We resent all that we are facing.
3. Be Careful that you don’t End-Up Becoming Defiled: To be Defiled is: “To corrupt or ruin something.” When we are purposely, as it depends on us, in conflict with one another and falling short of God’s grace we run the risk of ruining everything that God has for us.
I acknowledge that the pain that you are feeling is real; that your emotions have been affected by the traumas of life. However, I beg you, do not allow bitterness to set in your heart; if you do, you will surely die in the desert of your afflictions. Out of about three million people that came out of Egypt, only two actually entered the Promise Land; that is an alarming statistic! God is preparing you to have or not to have; God is preparing you to do or not to do…however, these things are secondary. God is preparing you, for sure, to see His face.
An independent thinker with a profound call to see the orthodoxy of the church and passion for Christ manifesting together. Angel was born in Brooklyn, New York in April of 1968, he was raised on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico where he earned his B.S. degree in Sociology with a minor in Education from the Inter American University in San Germán in 1991. That same year he moved to Jacksonville, Florida. After working construction jobs for a year and learning the English language, his first job working with foster-care children in the capacity of youth care worker was with Jacksonville Youth Sanctuary in September of 1992. With JYS he was promoted several times as group home supervisor, legal caseworker, and program director.
While in Jacksonville, Angel studied a couple of martial arts styles. After earning his black belt, he became the founder of Good Fight Ministries as he used martial arts as an instrument to preach the gospel. In 2004 Angel was selected Martial Arts Instructor of the Year for the State of Florida and in 2005 Angel was inducted in the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame where he also received the Christian Spirit Award. In July of 2005 Angel accepted his call to pastor a bilingual church in Winton, NC where he served for a couple of years. Five months later he lost his first wife to cancer in December of that same year. This initiated a deep valley of suffering in his life, a mountain of costly mistakes and the embracing of lifestyles of sin that are well documented through this blog.
In August of 2012 Angel moved to Fairbanks Alaska with his wife Rayette Casiano and six children who are now adults. In Alaska, Angel continued his social work-related career and his ministry of preaching, teaching and writing. Angel is the author of two books, Hope for the divorcee: Forgiving and Moving Forward and 7 Banderas de Esperanza: La Bendición de Yokdzonot. In January 8th of 2020 Angel and his wife moved to Arizona.
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