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R325 Overcoming Life’s Hurdles Pt.2

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton
The Truth Network Radio
May 6, 2021 8:00 am

R325 Overcoming Life’s Hurdles Pt.2

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton

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We all could use some encouragement and we'll find it together today in the Bible-based preaching of Dr. Don Wilton here on The Encouraging Words. Today we're wrapping up a two-part series on how to overcome life's hurdles. Now if you missed yesterday, don't worry about it.

Everything you're gonna hear today is gonna make perfect sense. Dr. Donald will catch you up, but you can always catch up on any of the broadcasts on our website at That's T-E-W for The Encouraging Word online dot o-r-g. T-E-W online dot o-r-g is also your source to discover great resources like the new book about Dr. Billy Graham and Dr. Don Wilton's relationship. It's called Saturdays with Billy. Details right there at or you can call about your copy at 866-899-WORD. That's 866-899-9673.

Now today's teaching with Dr. Don Wilton. It is a biblical fact that every time God speaks to an individual or to a group in any circumstances, that there will be those who will oppose the outworking of God's grace. It is a biblical guarantee.

It's not a matter of if it happens, it is when it happens. This past Thursday night, deacons from all over Spartanburg County gathered together in our dining hall. We were there with our chairman of deacons and with some others, and Mr. Ken Smith who is chaplain to the South Carolina football team spoke to us. It was a wonderful evening and he spoke about the wise man building a house upon a rock so that when the rains come, the house will stand firm. He spoke about the foolish man who built his house upon the sand and when the rains and the floods came, the house upon the sand fell flat. And I thought to myself what Jesus was trying to teach us is that we need to build upon a rock and not upon the sand. That is what he's trying to teach us. But another thing Jesus is trying to teach us, my friends, is that storms will come.

That's right. It is guaranteed the floods are going to come. The hurdles of life are going to present themselves to us. It is guaranteed for both the wise man upon a rock and the foolish man upon a sand, the storms of life are going to come. This man, one of the greatest hurdles he began to encounter was the rise of human opposition. It was no different in the acts of the apostles. You can read about it in chapter four where the apostles began to preach and teach the word of God and the Lord added to the church daily such as would be saved and there rose from among the ranks of the church believers a group of people who were opposed.

They were against it and the Bible says, yeah, these people were disturbed, were disturbed that Nehemiah was coming to promote the welfare of the Israelites and to rebuild the walls, fear of the unknown, a long journey, human opposition. But in the fourth place, the fourth hurdle was practical questions. His greatest hurdle perhaps were the practical questions of life. We've all got them.

I've got them. You know what the practical questions are? How am I going to do this? Who's going to pay for it? Am I going to have enough money? Will I have enough to eat?

Am I going to starve to death? What about mommy and daddy? What about my grandparents?

My parents are elderly. I can't leave them. I don't want to move out of this area because it's where I've grown up. As long as I don't have to leave my home, it's going to be okay.

I'm willing to accept this as long as I don't have to change that. What, where, how, when, why? When I'm doing this, when I'm doing that, they're practical questions. And beloved friends, they are very, very real in the life of every believer. Never be afraid to ask practical questions of God.

Do you know why? Because God is the God who is going to answer every single predicament. These, this word here is the key that unlocks the key to kingdom living. This word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. It is by this means that God shows me where I am to step into the darkness of life. Fear of unknown, a long journey, human opposition, practical questions. So what did he do about it? How did Nehemiah step out in faith and begin to overcome life's hurdles?

Let me share some thoughts with you. Number one, he relied on his partners in prayer. He relied on his partners in prayer. As I've been studying through this whole book of Nehemiah, I wondered what kind of prayer partners Nehemiah had.

I've got six or seven, I want to give them to you. You see, the Apostle Paul writing to the church at Corinth, he uses a marvelous phrase. This is what he says in 2 Corinthians. He says, we are co-laborers together.

Isn't that wonderful? We are co-laborers together. What were some of his partners in prayer? Let me give them to you, not in order of priority. Number one, his intellectual skills.

Uh oh, you thought you were going to write down the names of people, didn't you? His intellectual skills. Someone said to me one time, pastor, it doesn't help because I only get one A and five C's. Listen, God's not interested in whether we get A's, B's or C's or D's. But I'll guarantee you what God is interested in. God is interested in all of us using the brains that God has given to us.

Think about what you're doing. Think, use the mind that God has given to you. Make and allow your mind to come in sync with the mind of Christ. That's what the apostle Paul was trying to teach the church at Philippi.

He was telling them, let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. Use amongst others your intellectual skills. Secondly, your human experience.

That's a second partner of prayer. You know, human experience is probably one of the greatest teachers of all. It's our capacity to learn as we go along. I think about human experience. And I think about the things that you and I can learn from those who have gone through the school of human experience. But in the third place, human experience cultivates accumulated wisdom. That's a prayer partner is accumulated wisdom. God's word says, if you ask for wisdom, I'll give it to you.

I won't hold it back. I'll give it to a Christian person who has accumulated wisdom and God is going to use that wisdom to help you to overcome some of life's hurdles. But number four, your role and position in life. There's a prayer partner. Your role and your position in life. Just think about Nehemiah chapter one and verse 11 says, I was cup bearer to the king. This man had a role and he had a position.

He used both in order to be able to overcome life's hurdles. What is your role and position? Are you a dad this morning? Well, my brother behave like a dad. Operate like a dad. Are you a grandmother this morning?

Well, my sister behave and operated like a grandmother. Are you a mother? Behave and operate like a mother. Are you a school teacher? Behave and operated like a school teacher. Are you a pastor? Behave and operate like a pastor. Are you a Sunday school teacher?

Be what a Sunday school teacher ought to be. Are you a deacon? Are you a Christian? Are you a born again believer washed and redeemed by the blood of the lamb?

Use your title, your position. And all of us who love the Lord Jesus Christ are being called into a wonderful position in Christ Jesus. But number five, the testimony of others. What a blessed prayer partner, the testimony of others. So many people whose lives have been impacted for Christ have impacted my own life for Christ.

So many. Someone said to me one time many years ago, they said to me, Pastor, one of the greatest things you can ever do in your home is invite godly people into your home. Now let me just run that by again in case some of you are mourning Wake Forest loss yesterday. Listen carefully. Somebody said to me as a father, they said one of the greatest things you can do for your children is to invite godly Christian people into your home. Let them stay with you, let them eat with you, let them live with you. Do you know that I've met people who never have anybody in their homes?

I say, well, I don't have the gift of hospitality. You want to impact your children? Bring godly people into your home. Don't just take them out to the football stadiums. Don't just go and sit and shout at football games. Bring godly people into your home.

Do you know why? The testimony of others. What a tremendous prayer partner. And then finally, the consistency of your lifestyle. The consistency of your lifestyle.

You say, how's the consistency of one's lifestyle a prayer partner? Well, my friends, the Bible teaches, you can go into the Sermon on the Mount, many other passages right throughout Scripture, that your walk is going to parallel your talk. Your practice is going to walk arm in arm with your preach. What you are and who you are is going to have a direct reflection on how you overcome life's hurdles.

How you operate in the fabric of society. I was professor of preaching at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. And one of my responsibilities was to have preaching classes with preachers and they would get up and preach and then I would have them stand up in front of the camera and the whole class would critique them just like you're all critiquing me right now.

And you can just imagine the experience. And it was a wonderful time. I mean, we had revival after revival. One day, probably one of the best preachers I've ever heard in my life as a young man got up to preach. When he finished preaching, I graded him, the class graded him and I gave him his grade and I gave him an F. He was the first and only man that I ever failed in preaching.

I don't believe you can fail a man in preaching. Just the same as I don't believe a man can get 100% grade for preaching. It's impossible.

Absolutely impossible. And so the next morning, he came to my office and he said to me, Dr. Wilton, he said, I don't understand. He said, man, you know, and he had a right not to understand. I don't understand how I got an F for preaching. I said, well, let me explain it to you.

Yesterday, I was at Elysian Fields Avenue in New Orleans, right opposite Blockbuster. There was an elderly lady in a car in front of me. There was another car between me and that elderly lady and we turned left. And this elderly lady got so mixed up that she stopped, started. She didn't know what to do. She didn't know where the traffic was coming. And this person in the car in front of me wound down his window, drove around her. He didn't cuss, but I'll tell you something, he let that dear old lady have what for. I mean, he told her everything that you've ever heard. He told her she didn't need to have a driver's license and what was she doing on the road and everything else in between it. And when screaming off down the road, there was just one problem on the bumper sticker of that car was a big sticker that said, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

And my brother, you were the man in that car. How can you stand in the pulpit and expect to get an A when your lifestyle is a total contradiction of everything you're saying? How can you expect to sing in the choir? You knew I was going to get into this.

I've been waiting for this. How can you sing in the choir when your lifestyle is not consistent? How can you be a deacon if your lifestyle is not consistent?

How can you be a Sunday school teacher of your life? You see friends, life is filled with obstacles and hurdles, and you and I are never going to be able to either overcome the hurdle of our own limitations. Do you know what the greatest hurdle is in my life?

It's me. I'm the biggest problem to myself, folks. I get in the way of God's will. And God, my nature, my base nature, my sinful nature wants to rear its head all the time.

The old man wants to rise up in aggression all the time. And listen to me friends, if I'm not consistent in my lifestyle, I'm never going to be able to overcome life's hurdles. Never. Please forgive the interruption. Dr. Wilton insists I remind you that not only as he's preaching about winning that victory, that Jesus has already claimed, he's also a part of the fact that we know we need to pray with and for each other in some of these situations as we lock arms together and increase our effectiveness in the body of Christ. If you'd like to speak with someone, to pray with someone right now, we would love to do so at 866-899-WORD.

You can jot that number down or store it in your cell, 866-899-9673. We'll connect you with someone, not just now during the broadcast, but any time, day or night, to talk with, to pray with, to connect with great resources like the new book from Dr. Wilton about his relationship with Dr. Billy Graham and so much more. As a matter of fact, I also encourage you to go by our website,, and sign up for the daily encouraging word email from Dr. Wilton.

It's of course absolutely free. You can sign up today,, and while you're there, follow Dr. Wilton on our socials. We'd love to get connected with you beyond these moments of studying God's word together, but we are here to encourage you.

That's online at Now back to today's great message, overcoming life's hurdles with Dr. Don Wilton. Well, what did this man do? He relied on his partners in prayer. Number two, he received permission from the king. He received permission from the king. Look at verse seven. And I also said to him, if it pleases the king, this man setting out in faith, didn't know what to do, saw all this opposition, had all this fear, all these practical questions, what did he do? He went and got permission from the king.

I love that. That's what Abram did in Genesis chapter 12. The Bible says, now God said to Abram, get up, go, leave. Verse four, so Abram departed as God had spoken.

Abram departed because he had received permission from the king. What happened to Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus had persecuted the church. And there he encountered the radiant presence of the king of kings and the Lord of lords.

Let me tell you something, folks. Let there be no mistake when Saul of Tarsus was converted, when he was washed and redeemed by the blood of the lamb, that man knew that the hurdles that lay ahead of him were even execution. He knew what was done to Christians.

He did it. He knew that he was going to be sentenced to prison. He knew that he was going to be persecuted. He knew he was going to have to stand tall under difficult circumstances and yet this man upon his face before God and in the presence of the king said, Oh God, king of kings and Lord of lords, would you grant me permission to step out in faith?

He received permission from the king. Number three, he was aware of subtleties. He was aware of subtleties. Did you notice in verse six the subtlety there? The king with the queen sitting beside him.

Now we don't know a lot about the queen, but I'm going to say to you that the queen was a partner together with king Artaxerxes in the broken walls of Jerusalem. And I'm going to say to you, my friend, when Nehemiah approached the king, he was aware of the subtleties that were sitting beside him. You see, God's word tells us that in every circumstance as we approach every hurdle of life, we must be aware that there is always lurking in the background a hidden agenda, an ulterior motive and Satan wants to do nothing more than to chew somebody up and spit them out in the gutter where he wants them to be to begin with.

Be aware of subtleties. That's why so many Christians, so many Christians stumble and fall all over the place. I've heard grown men say, listen, now that I'm in Christ, I will never have a problem with lust again. It's not true, my brother. I've heard families say now that Jesus Christ is in our marriage, our marriage will never break up again. Not true, my brother. I've heard people say now that Jesus Christ has come into my life, I'm never going to have to worry about this.

I'm never going to have to do that. The Bible says be aware of subtleties. Here's what 1 Peter says. 1 Peter says that the devil is as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.

And I will give you a guarantee today on the authority of God's word that when God begins to move in his church and when God begins to move in your life and when God begins to act upon your life, it is absolutely guaranteed that subtleties are going to raise their heads and they're going to try and decapitate and destroy you and break down God's word even though they might do it in camouflage and under the masquerade of a hidden motive or agenda. He received permission from the king. He was aware of subtleties. Number four, he did his homework. He did his homework, verses seven through eight.

He understood what he needed to do. I used to always write on my papers when I did examinations, R-L-I-D. You know what it means? It means read, learn, and inwardly digest. It means do your homework. Understand where you're going. Try and figure it out. Think, use your intellectual skills.

Get down to some serious study in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. But number five, he gained access to the right materials. He gained access to the right materials.

Verse eight tells us about it. He wanted this for that and that for this. He gained access to the right materials. Now, folks, what did Nehemiah need to rebuild the walls? What did he need?

I'll tell you what he needed to rebuild the walls. He needed a solid foundation. He needed a good team to surround him. He needed spiritual advisors. He needed proper materials.

He needed permission from the king. He needed the right attitude. He needed to exercise faith. That's what he needed. And in order to do that, he gained access to the right materials.

But there's a final point, number six. He depended upon God's help. That's what verse eight is all about. God granted me permission through the king. He depended on God's help. Are you dependent on his help, my friend?

Do you know him today? Would you bow your heads with me all across the sanctuary this morning? Upstairs and downstairs.

Every head bowed and every eye closed. You'd say to me today, Pastor, there are so many hurdles in my life. I don't think I can ever overcome them. I face hurdles at home. I face hurdles at work and at school.

Maybe it's a physical hurdle. Maybe you're in so much pain today and you don't know what to do. What has God's word told you this morning? Here they are. Are you willing to rely on your partners in prayer? Are you willing to get permission from the king?

Have you done that? Are you willing to be aware of subtleties? Those things that are going to trip you up, they're there, I'm telling you. Are you aware of them? Those things that break you down, maybe it's your Achilles heel.

Maybe it's your weak point. Are you willing to do your homework? You see, homework comes at a price. Homework means that you come home from school and no matter how much you want to go out and play with your friends, you're willing to say, I'm going to get my homework done. It means that you're a disciplined person. It means that you're putting priorities in your life. It means that you're willing to look down the road and see the finish line. That's the sign of a mature person. That's a sign of someone who's willing to overcome hurdles.

Let me ask you, are you willing to gain access to the right materials to overcome hurdles? You say, well, pastor, what are some of the right materials for a Christian? The word of God, you read God's word.

God's people. Are you faithful in God's house? God's spirit?

Have you renounced and revoked and confessed your sins so that you can operate in the fullness of God's spirit? God's spirit will not bless you, my friend, if you're an unclean vessel. You won't have access to the right materials. You'll be guilty of quenching the spirit. And if you quench the spirit, the spirit will not operate according to his full power and grace in your life. You'll be a powerless Christian. And if you're a powerless Christian, when those hurdles come, you won't have spiritual energy enough to jump over those hurdles.

It won't be there. Are you in church? Are you serving God faithfully? Do you have the right attitude? Are you studying God's word?

Do you pray with others? Are you seeking to know the mind of God? Are you willing to depend upon God's help? You know, when all is said and done, if we're ever again to overcome life's hurdles, we've got to come back to this faith thing. Cast all your care upon him. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. Lord, here I am.

Send me. Indeed, we do. We have to start doing things. We've got to be in motion.

Dr. Don reminds us you can't steer a car that's not moving. We've got to be moving forward as God leads us, and then let him guide and direct us. I pray that you have someone in your life that you know you can talk to and pray with about these important steps of following Jesus.

But if you don't have someone, we're here for you. We have a wonderful team of trained, loving brothers and sisters in Christ that are available any time, day or night, at 866-899-WORD. We'd love to speak with you, to pray with you, connect with resources if you need, but know that we're just here to encourage you at 866-899-9673. And one of the ways we'd love to encourage you is to do what we have done, and that's give your life to Jesus Christ.

You've heard Dr. Wilton preach. I pray you'd open your heart to what he wants to share next. Are you ready to give your heart and life to the Lord Jesus Christ?

I'm so happy to hear that. Why don't you pray this prayer with me today? Dear God, I know that you love me very, very much, and I know that the Lord Jesus Christ came and died on a cross so that I might be forgiven of my sin. Today, I repent of my sin. I confess my sin to you, and I invite you to come into my heart and into my life, I pray. In Jesus' name I pray. If you've prayed that prayer, I'll be the first one to welcome you to the family of God.

This is wonderful. I hope that you know how much I'm going to be praying for you and how very important this is for me. Call us so that we can talk to you and connect you in the right place so you can begin this wonderful journey. If you just prayed with Dr. Wilton moments ago to give your life to Christ or rededicate your life and recommit your focus to living for Jesus, we celebrate with you.

Scripture reminds us the angels are celebrating, and we would love to celebrate and walk you through the next steps as well. As a matter of fact, Dr. Don Wilton has prepared two packets for those of you that have given your life to Christ for the first time or rededicated your life, and he wants you to have all this information that will help you grow in your faith. You just need to call and ask for it. It's free, of course, at 866-899-WORD.

That's 866-899-9673. You can communicate with us also online. We'd love to keyboard to keyboard connect at

That's our website, And as a matter of fact, speaking of communicating, there's a wonderful opportunity to spend time in God's Word every day. Liz is here to tell you about the Daily Encouraging Word. The Daily Encouraging Word is a daily devotional made available in a quarterly booklet or delivered each morning in your email inbox. If you would like to request this free devotional, please call 866-899-WORD or visit our website at We are confident that it will be a blessing to you. The Encouraging Word is a viewer and listener supported ministry. Thank you for listening today.

Our time's gone for today, but oh, we're looking forward to tomorrow. Dr. Wilton's got a message called A Circle of Friends, and it helps us not only understand the importance of staying connected, but how, especially in this day and age, we can connect even though we may not be able to go to the same building together, but we can connect by the power of prayer and the wonder of what God has given us in technology. Meet us online at or listen again. Whether you're listening on the radio, podcast, however you're connecting with us today, we're grateful for those of you that have made this possible. Your financial support, your prayer support is what has allowed the broadcast to continue to grow and develop and reach more and more people every single day with the love of Jesus Christ. If you'd like to discover more about how you can get involved, you'll find the details at
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-21 11:21:12 / 2023-11-21 11:32:28 / 11

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