Following Jesus on the path towards spiritual health sometimes leads us up mountaintops. Here, God’s presence is a tangible experience, and activities like prayer, scripture reading, and worship are fulfilling. However, as we continue to follow Jesus, we will inevitably be confronted with His crucifixion on the hill called Cavalry. This may seem like a place that leads to spiritual death, not life. Yet, as we follow Jesus up this hill, we will uncover a level of spiritual health we can’t find anywhere else.

Discussion Questions

Have you ever felt, or had a conscious awareness of, God’s presence? How would you describe that experience to someone?

Are our feelings always an accurate measurement of our spiritual health? Is it possible to have pleasant feelings when we’re spiritually immature and painful feelings when we’re spiritually mature? Why?

God is omnipresent, meaning He is everywhere at the same time. That said, why do you think we sometimes feel His presence as an absence (Psalm 22)?

If there was someone in your life who felt as if God were absent, how would you encourage them (Psalm 23 & 24)?

What have you discovered about God in seasons of life when He has felt absent?

Further Reading

Resistance Training

Our muscles grow stronger when we repeatedly push against a weight or force. Similarly, as followers of Jesus, we can grow spiritually stronger when we encounter resistance. Today, we’ll identify the three primary forces that push against us on our path towards...

Stages of Growth

While salvation is instantaneous, spiritual maturity involves a process. It’s one filled with twists and turns and failures and successes. And each stage of our growth requires an awareness of whether we’re a spiritual baby, a young person in the faith or a mature...

Time to Grow Up

Change is part of life. And we can change for good or change for the not-so-good. In the language of the Bible, changing for good is called growth. It’s normal for living things to grow—under one condition—if they’re nourished. In other words, growth doesn’t happen...

Proverbs: The Quest for Character

We might define success by using external qualities like the amount of money someone accumulates or the amount of fame they achieve. However, in the Bible, we find a successful life is defined by our character - our disposition towards qualities like love and...

God Gave

We’ve just come through a time of gift-giving and joy. Of course, the most significant gift of all was God’s gift of Jesus to the world. We find this profound truth simply stated in what might be the most famous of all Bible verses: John 3:16. Maybe this verse is so...