small group study

Be of good cheer (small group Bible study)

by Rev. Ethan McCardell

In individual or group study explore God’s amazing ability to be there for you here and now, no matter what. Author and pastor, Ethan McCardell provides 21 days of thoughtful reflection on your life’s journey, a roadmap from a lifestyle of doubt and fear to one of experiencing all that God made you to be. Here is an overview with ideas for group study featuring Ethan's book Be of Good Cheer. You can purchase the book online at

Click on a week, below, to see an outline for weekly study.

Week one: God's presence & unseen help


Be of Good Cheer p 13-36

“I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." (John 8:12)

“Every person who looks to the Lord and shuns evils as sin, if he sincerely, justly, and faithfully does the work of his office and employment, becomes a form of charity.” (Doctrine of Charity 158)

Discussion questions

  • When I feel like I am not measuring up to life, how can I remind myself that God is real and effective and is always turning my challenges into the building blocks of my eternal character?
Week two: barriers to our happiness


Be of Good Cheer p 37-62

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, no sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)

“A person comes into this state of peace in proportion as they come into love to the Lord.” (Secrets of Heaven 8455)

Discussion questions

  • Where do I feel negativity and doubt getting a hold in my life?
  • What can I do to refocus those feelings into a sense of humility that Jesus can use to heal me?
Week three: the usefulness of service and prayer


Be of Good Cheer p 63-88

“Greater love has no one than this— that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do whatever I command you.” (John 15:13)

“Those who lead the life of faith repent daily. They pay attention to the evils present with them, acknowledge them, are on their guard against them, and implore the Lord for help.” (Secrets of Heaven 8391)

Discussion questions

  • What can I do today to live a more “prayerful life”?
  • What opportunities to serve other people am I letting pass me by?
  • Where in my life can I reach out with God’s love more effectively?
Week four: the role of Christ in our own journey


Be of Good Cheer p 89-120

“I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel.” (Matthew 8:10)

“The Lord came into the world to subjugate the hells and to glorify His Human. Without this no mortal could have been saved, and those are saved who believe in Him.” (True Christian Religion 2)

Discussion questions

  • What can I do today to acknowledge Jesus as Lord, not only of my thoughts but of my life?
Week five: self-examination


Be of Good Cheer p 121-150

“Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in Heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)

“Those who are in good, that is, who do good according to the Commandments, are called wise.” (Secrets of Heaven 4638:10)

“All religion is of life and the life of religion is to do good.” (Doctrine of Life 1)

Discussion questions

  • What gifts and talents has God given me that can show others the purpose for which I was created?
Week six: freedom from our mistakes


Be of Good Cheer p 151-178

“The Lord is on my side, I will not fear.” (Psalm 118:6)

“There is only one kind of life— the Lord’s— a life that flows into all people, but is received in varying ways. Indeed the way it is received is determined by the character a person has stamped on his soul through the life that he leads in the world.” (Secrets of Heaven 6467)

“In temptation it looks as if a person is left to himself, but he is not, since God is then most closely present in his inmost, and secretly gives him support.” (True Christianity 126)

Discussion questions

  • How have I felt the Lord’s presence in my life?
  • Where have I seen His work in my life?
Week seven: living for the Lord


Be of Good Cheer Pp 179-216

“For with those who are in good and from this in the affection of truth, the intellectual part of the mind is open into heaven, and their soul, that is, their internal man, is in fellowship with angels.” (Secrets of Heaven 8694)

“I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart.”(Jeremiah 24:7)

Discussion questions

  • What situations do I find myself in where I could benefit from looking for the spiritual reality instead of getting caught in the natural appearances?
  • What is the next step that I am going to take to keep my faith living, lasting, and real?


Full issue

Daily Inspiration

"We never produce anything misguided or wicked out of ourselves. It is the evil spirits with us who produce it and at the same time cause us to believe that it comes from us."

Arcana Coelestia 761