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R540 Overcoming Spiritual Setbacks

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton
The Truth Network Radio
September 2, 2021 8:00 am

R540 Overcoming Spiritual Setbacks

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton

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September 2, 2021 8:00 am

The Daily Encouraging Word with Dr. Don Wilton

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Matt Slick
Core Christianity
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Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
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Alistair Begg
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Erwin Lutzer

God has an encouraging word for you and me today through the Bible-based preaching of Dr. Don Wilton about overcoming spiritual setbacks. In just a moment, Dr. Don takes us to the book of Acts chapter 4 for today's message, overcoming spiritual setbacks. Perhaps you find yourself in the middle of that right now, or perhaps it's best that God's providing this teaching for us to prepare for those setbacks that will more than likely come our way. We also want you to know we're here to pray with you and for you anytime on our phone line at 866-899-WORD.

Take a minute, jot this number down, store it in your cell, 866-899-9673. We'll connect you with one of us 24 hours a day to talk, to listen, to pray, to connect you with resources that will help you grow in your faith. Speaking of resources, let's open God's Word together with Dr. Don Wilton now for today's Bible teaching. Turn there with me this morning to the Acts of the Apostles and chapter 4. Now I want to remind you what happened in Acts chapter 3.

In Acts chapter 3, we have a most remarkable story. The Bible tells us about a man who was lame from his mother's womb. He was a handicapped man, and he had been that way since he was born. And this is a picture of salvation.

It's a picture of what we are like without the Lord Jesus Christ. And he was like that for 40 years. And one day, two preachers walked into his life in the book of Acts in chapter 3, and a miracle takes place. And he receives strength, and he stands up, and he walks, and it's an incredible thing. Can you just imagine the joy that must have been all around when that happened to that man?

Everybody knew him, and we're going to discover that. They saw what had happened. Well, Acts chapter 4 tells us about some of the things that took place after this while everybody was rejoicing.

And I'm going to read to you a most incredible story this morning. Acts chapter 4 and verse 1. The Bible says that the priests and the captain of the temple, God and the Sadducees, came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. They were greatly disturbed because the Apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. So they seized Peter and John. They arrested them.

Can you believe that? Because it was evening, and they put them in jail until the next day. But many who heard the message believed, and the number of the men grew to about 5,000. The next day, the rulers, elders, and teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. Annas, the high priest, was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and the other men of the high priest's family. They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them.

By what power or by what name did you do this? Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, Rulers and elders of the people, if we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel, it is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone or the cornerstone. Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together. What are we going to do with these men?

They asked. Everybody living in Jerusalem knows they have done an outstanding miracle and we cannot deny it. But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn these men to speak no longer to anyone in this name. Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or to teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than to obey God.

For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard. And after further threats, they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them because all the people were praising God for what had happened. For the man who was miraculously healed was over 40 years old. Isn't that just a wonderful story? Isn't that amazing what happened here?

Isn't it incredible that God would have shared that with us and it just brings us such wonderful joy. Now, have you ever said to somebody, do you want the good news or the bad news first? I think we've all said that, haven't we? Do you want me to tell you the good news or the bad news? Well, I'm going to tell you the bad news first, okay? I want to just get this out of the way so I can move on.

Here it is. Setbacks are going to happen in your life. I want you to know today, I want to confirm something. Setbacks are going to happen. Folks, setbacks happen in life. Bible does not say because we belong to Jesus Christ that we are not going to become subject to the setbacks of life.

We have to face many difficult decisions. You know, parents are very special people. I wouldn't be surprised, there are parents here today and you remember the time when your little one was born and so cute and cuddly and then your children grow up, you've done everything you possibly know how to do and all of a sudden that child becomes a junior or a senior in high school and something happens and they begin to turn against God and they turn against the things that you've said and they begin to wander down the road aimlessly and they begin to hurt themselves and as parents you experience such pain in your heart. I want to speak to you today about spiritual setbacks. I want to speak to you today about overcoming spiritual setbacks because there is no greater pain than a spiritual setback. Now folks, listen to me carefully today. Here in the Acts of the Apostles, God had moved.

If I may say and if I may beg your pardon, after the healing of this lame man, they were on a spiritual high. Here come the setbacks. I'll guarantee you if you walk down this aisle this morning and you get your heart right with God and you give your life to Jesus Christ, I will guarantee you that within a very short space of time Satan is going to do everything possible to set you back spiritually. Watch out, I'm telling you, Satan will send someone right there in front of you. They'll break down the church. They'll criticize the church. They'll criticize Jesus Christ.

You wouldn't believe what they'll say. They'll suddenly stand in front of you and they'll break down all your resolve. I've met people who have served the Lord all their life and then they come to retirement and all of a sudden they get diagnosed with some disease and physically they are set back and they say to themselves, you know, I've served the Lord all my life. I've given to the Lord, loved the Lord, served the Lord and here I am suffering the setback. Why me, Lord?

Why me? I've met wonderful parents who have loved the Lord with all their heart. They've reared their sons and daughters in the knowledge and admonition of the Lord Jesus. Their home has been a godly home and all of a sudden just sometimes we just don't understand it. That son or daughter turn away.

They begin to argue with their parents and stay out late at night and they disappoint and they seem to be pursuing ungodliness and unholiness and they're messing around with things that are going to hurt them and the parents begin to agonize and they even withdraw and say we cannot even go to church anymore because everybody's going to look at us and they're going to say, well, we know what's going on in their home and parents are suffering spiritual setbacks. There are even far greater setbacks related to death, tragedies. Why me, Lord? Why did I have to go through this divorce? I was faithful to you.

Why did I have to lose my husband like this? I've served you all my life. We loved you, Lord.

We had so much to do. Why did I lose all my money, Lord? The stock market collapsed and I lost everything that I have.

Why me? Spiritual setbacks. Let's take a look at the Word of God and I'm going to give you some principles this morning taken from what happened here in Acts chapter 4. Principle number 1. You want to overcome spiritual setbacks, number 1, know that setbacks will come. All right, let's just say it all again.

Number 1, here's your first principle. Just know that setbacks are going to happen. Folks, it's guaranteed.

May I just say that to everyone this morning? Here's what the Bible says. Listen, the Bible says that the devil is as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. He's out to get your number.

He's got your number. He does that to churches that are on fire for the Lord. He does that for individuals who have given their hearts to Jesus Christ, for moms and dads, for grandparents, for retirees, for widows and widows, for single adults, for college students. When you get your heart right with God and I watch young people getting right with God, as much as I rejoice, I know that setbacks are on their way. You're listening to Dr. Don Wilton, our teacher here on The Encouraging Word. And don't go away.

He'll be back to complete today's message in just a moment. But I pray that you would know that we're here not only to present this to you, this great teaching from Dr. Don Wilton, but we're also part of having a conversation, perhaps praying with you and for you can connect in a number of ways. Many are using the phone, 866-899-WORD is the phone number. That's 866-899-9673.

There are also many of us that are loving to go keyboard to keyboard. If you want to do that, meet us on our website at That's And right now we have some exciting resources that will help you grow in your faith.

Here's Liz with all the details. Believers around the world are asking these questions. Is Jesus about to come back? Is this the end of the world? Join Dr. Wilton as he answers these questions straight from God's word in his message, Is This the End? Also, as a bonus, you will receive The King is Coming by Erwin Lutzer, renowned theologian and friend. Both of these ministry resources will greatly bless, motivate and encourage you in anticipation of our Lord Jesus' return. Be assured, God has everything under control.

He is our living hope. Call us at 866-899-WORD. That's 866-899-9673 and request Is This the End? In the bonus book, The King is Coming for yourself or your friend today. Thank you for listening and thank you for supporting the encouraging word. Now it's time to spread the gospel. It really is a powerful resource. I pray you'll discover more online. You also may discover that Dr. Don Wilton is well known for his study and his presentation and explanation of end time studies.

So that book, The King is Coming, as well as Is This the End? Powerful resources to help us gain an understanding on the world in which we live and the world to come. Go to details at and while you're there, It's the place you can sign up for the daily devotion from Dr. Don. You can get it in a quarterly version or have it emailed to you every single day. That's online at our website,

Just scroll to the bottom of the page and sign up today. Now back to today's great teaching with Dr. Don Wilton. I wouldn't be surprised some of you teenagers looking at me right now. Something happened to the resolve that you made just a couple of weeks ago. God got a hold of your heart and Satan knew it.

And the moment you stepped out, God, Satan pounced on you like a roaring lion and you suffered spiritual setback. Just know that setbacks will come. When?

How? First of all, at the most unlikely time. Oh yes, it's not according to your timetable or my timetable.

Those setbacks will come at the most unlikely time. Second, in the most unlikely places. You'll say, in my home? But what you don't understand, Lord, is we've always had a spiritual home. We've always had a family altar. We've always loved our children. We've always taken them on good vacations. We've always been to their ball games. We've always taken them to church and been there with them.

We've always brought godly people into our home. How is it possible that our daughter could walk away? How is it possible that my son could behave like this? How is it possible that this could happen?

We've done everything we know how to do. Setbacks will happen. The most unlikely time and the most unlikely place, but there's a third factor from the most unlikely people. By the way, spiritual setbacks don't come through things, folks. People cause problems. And here in the Bible, in the first couple of verses, the Bible tells us that it comes from the most unlikely people. Sometimes, my friends, Satan will rear his head and he will use people that you least likely think he would use. All of a sudden, boom, boom, right out there, slap standing in front of you.

You'll say it's impossible that this person could do this or could say this or could start this or could initiate this. Know that setbacks will come. Principle number two, trust God's Spirit to guide you. You'll notice here in verse eight, then Peter filled with the Holy Spirit said to them, Now Peter acted, this man was healed, he told them what was going on and then he saw the response to that and he stood and waited and the Spirit of God took over.

Friends, listen this morning. The Spirit of God is in you. By the way, he never leaves you. Number one, listen to this, number one, he lives in you. I'd like anybody here this morning to stand up and tell me where the Bible says that yes, you have the Spirit of God in you but when you go through a divorce, God's Word says the Spirit says I'm out of here. The Bible says that the Spirit is in you until you start going through a divorce.

I wonder if the Bible says anywhere, listen parents, I'm with you, I'm watching over you, I'm not going to leave you unless you start having problems with your teenager, then I'm out of here. The Spirit of God is in you. Listen to me folks, what did God say? I will never leave you and I will never forsake you. Do I hear an Amen this morning?

Just think about that. He lives in you. Number two, he guides you. He helps you to know which turns to take.

You got a decision to make? He guides you. And number three, he protects you. He puts his hedge of protection over you. He puts, as it were, God's armor plating over you so that when that old devil, the Satan, begins to hurl those fiery darts at you and you're suffering those setbacks and you're down and you're troubled in your heart, God puts his hedge of protection over you. He sustains you.

He picks you up by the mighty power of his Spirit. Number one, know that setbacks will come. Number two, trust God's Spirit to guide you. Number three, third principle, consider the ground upon which you stand. Now here in this passage, Peter says from verse nine and following, he says, listen, here I am standing on solid ground. How do I know I'm standing on solid ground?

Why? Because of the name by which God does what he does in verse 10. That's solid ground, the name of Jesus Christ. How do I know I'm standing on solid ground? Number two, because of the stone upon which God lays his foundation. By the way, I'm not an architect or a building contractor, but I know what a cornerstone is. A cornerstone is that part of a building that's going to hold it together. God says, listen, I am that part of your life's building which holds you together. I'm the cornerstone.

So what does he do? He says, listen, consider the ground upon which you stand. It is the name by which God does what he does. It is the stone upon which God lays his foundation, and it is the uniqueness by which you have been saved. There is none other name under heaven by which you are saved excepting Jesus Christ.

Isn't that incredible? Here I am floundering, drowning, suffocating, and I'm suffering all these spiritual setbacks and God says, listen, know that these attacks are going to come. Trust God's Spirit to guide you. Consider the ground upon which you stand. But there's a fourth principle here. Remember that bad things can happen to good people.

There I've got it out. Folks, watch this now. Remember that bad things can happen to good people. There's nowhere in the Bible that says when you trust Jesus Christ that nothing else will ever go wrong with you again. In fact, did you notice something here in this passage?

Even after the evidence was overwhelming, they were still thrown out of the Sanhedrin and forbidden to speak. Here it all was. I wish we could get some of our lawyers up here this morning. I'd like to get Kevin Miller up here. I'd like to get Trey Gowdy up here. I'd like to get Milt Smith up here.

I'd like to get these law enforcement officers up here. Folks, listen. Here in the book of Acts, the evidence was irrefutable. It was undeniable. Nobody could argue with it.

Everybody agreed with it, and yet they still punished these people. Bad things do happen to good people. We're not exempt. No, sir. I mean despite all. In fact, even the people who were most critical said, we cannot deny what has happened, and yet they threw them out of the Sanhedrin. Is there anyone here this morning?

Don't raise your hand. You are literally exasperated. You are overwhelmed because you know that you've been faithful. You know you've served the Lord, and yet despite your faithfulness, Lord, why is this happening? Why am I hurting like this?

Why am I suffering like this? Bad things do happen to good people, but hold on. Here's the fifth and final principle this morning.

Here it is. Write it down. Stand firm and watch God work.

I love this one. Stand firm and watch God work. Did you notice what happened in this passage, folks?

All these things. All the opposition, all the talk, throwing out of the Sanhedrin, forbidden to talk and to speak anymore in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. I mean it was all there, but they stood firm and they watched God work. What did God do? God delivered them. Why? Because He will never leave us and He will never forsake us.

That's why. God is the God of His word. His promises never fail. Stand firm. Watch what God does. It's not an easy journey. It's difficult to go through that process, but stand firm. Watch me, folks.

Watch me this morning. Don't quit. Don't give up, Mom and Dad. Don't give up.

Don't give up loving your son, your daughter. Don't give up serving the Lord. Don't give up standing for God's word. Don't give up standing for truth and justice and righteousness. Remember, truth always prevails. You might have to go through a journey to get there and it's not easy, but truth always prevails. God always wins. Stand firm.

Don't quit. Would you bow your heads with me this morning? Now, friends, this message is complete, but what God does for us is not complete. Now is the turn that God gives to us to respond to Him. I'm going to ask you to come today, just as literally hundreds have done during these days, because God's word gives us the strength to do what we need to do, strength for the journey. And so today I'm going to invite you to come and respond to what God has put in your heart. That invitation continues both here on the broadcast but also one on one. Perhaps there are questions you have.

You want to discover more, dig deeper. We're here at 866-899-WORD. Twenty-four hours a day, no matter what time you might have heard this broadcast or maybe it was shared by a friend, we're here to take your call right now. That's 866-899-9673. We stand ready to speak with you, to pray with you, to maybe connect you with resources.

That's 866-899-9673. But before we get away, Dr. Don wants to share, really, he's been sharing from the pulpit, but here in the studio, he wants to share something unique from his heart. 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 prayed that prayer, let me 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.

And in just a moment, I'm going to come back with a final word. Welcome to the family of God. I'm just believing that some of you were praying along with Dr. Wilton moments ago to give your life to Jesus or maybe to rededicate your life to Christ. Please know it's while we're here at the other end of 866-899-WORD.

24 hours a day is because we're excited to see what God is doing through the power of His Word and through His servant, Dr. Wilton. If God's moved in your life today and you've given your life to Christ or rededicated your life, Dr. Wilton wants you to have a packet of information absolutely free if you'll call us. Our number is 866-899-WORD.

I pray you'll take a moment, jot it down, store it in your cell. We're available 24 hours a day at 866-899-9673. And we'd love to present you with this packet of information Dr. Wilton has prepared for you.

We also stand ready to answer questions, to pray with you, and we can do that online as well, keyboard to keyboard on our website, T-E-W online dot O-R-G. That's T-E-W online dot O-R-G. Available 24 hours a day, and before we get away, we have a unique opportunity for Dr. Don to step back into the studio with a closing thought. Well, here I am again.

What a day this has been. You know, one of the things I want to say to you is let's stay connected. You know, we've got so many means to be able to do that.

You can write to us, email us, you've got all the details right there in front of us. We are, we're a family together. We stay connected in so many ways, and your life is very important to me. I see you there, and God shows me, and I want to be able to pray with you and connect with you and be a vital part of your relationship, your growth. Your needs are maintained. Keep walking in your shoes, and I want to pray for you. Please don't stop. Call us, write us, keep praying, keep giving, keep connecting, keep rejoicing, keep celebrating, keep striving.

God is on His throne. This is the encouraging word, and now you know why. It's been a powerful day of teaching God's word from Dr. Wilton, and we continue on the next edition.

I hope you'll join us, maybe bring a friend. The topic will be what to do when you run out of gas. That's the next message coming up on the next edition of The Encouraging Word. Perhaps you didn't get to hear all of today's broadcast or would like to dig into some more resources. You can hear today's broadcast, watch some of the video presentations and more on our website at I pray you'll drop by and see not only those resources you can listen to and hear right away, but also written resources, books from the pastor. So much has been said across the nation, across the globe about his book with Dr. Don talking about his last 20 plus years being the pastor of Dr. Billy Graham. It's called Saturdays with Billy, and you'll discover more details on our website on how you can get your copy at That's
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-11 14:51:11 / 2023-09-11 15:02:10 / 11

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