Scripture: Acts 27:15-20

We all suffer through various setbacks in our lives. In this week’s sermon we looked at several of the negative consequences that we may experience if we allow ourselves to lose faith during a setback. But overcoming setbacks is often the path to success.

When was the last time you visited the museum on White Sands Missile Range? I worked there for years, and I used to love to take people to see the V2 rocket on display there. That rocket was designed and tested by Dr. Wernher von Braun. The lessons learned from that program ultimately led to his creation of the Saturn rockets that sent Americans to the moon. But setbacks could have kept it from happening.


Born in Germany, he was considered a poor student and even failed ninth-grade algebra, but after his mother bought him a telescope his life was changed. Soon after he received his Ph.D. in Physics, WWII broke out. But Dr. von Braun was an overcomer.

 He overcame WWII and his association with the Nazis. He overcame a prison sentence during the war. He overcame Russian attempts to capture him and a Nazi plot to assassinate him. He overcame countless failed tests on the V2 while testing on White Sands. One of his rockets even landed just south of Juarez! He overcame the failure of his Saturn Rocket that killed all onboard during the Apollo I disaster. Even though setback after setback could have knocked him off course, he kept the faith.

Trust God through whatever you’re going through. Don’t try to rely on your own strength and understanding. God will show you the path to take (Proverbs 3:5-6 ).  When you’re tempted to give up, remember the words he spoke through the prophet Isaiah, “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. (Isaiah 41:10 )


  1. One of the dangers of setbacks is drifting. Why is drifting such a danger to us?
  2. What should we anchor our lives to so that we won’t drift?
  3. Setbacks often force us to remove things that are pulling us off course. How do you decide what to remove and what to keep?
  4. Paul remained hopeful through the storm. How do you keep from becoming disheartened while enduring a setback?


Optional Questions:

1.Paul wrote the Colossians, encouraging them to, “Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.” (Col. 3:2 ) How effective are you at following his advice?

  1. What can you do to focus on and hope for the things to come rather than feeling disheartened in  your current circumstances?