Thursday, November 27, 2008

Hope Expects Good

Dean Merrill wrote in The God Who Won’t Let Go, “Hope is actually very close to fear. Fear looks at a set of grim prospects and says ‘It might fail.’ Hope looks at the same set of grim prospects . . . and says, ‘It might work.’ Hope and fear are thus like two ships passing in the night but headed in opposite directions. They are at the same dark murky point in the ocean. But by morning they will be miles apart.” (p. 23-24)

Mindy found a definition of hope that is very simple: Hope expects good. I love it because it is so easy to apply. When you wake up in the morning do you expect good or evil? Is hope guiding your life or is fear?

Lets apply this to innovation. The innovator is a person who has learned to hope. They expect good out of every new project, strategy, line of investigation. Hopefully they are realists, but that doesn't stop them from having an attitude defined by hope.

What does it mean for you if you live expecting good?
1. You see opportunities when others see brick walls.
2. You give people a second, third, fourth chance when others wouldn't.
3. You probably smile a bit more.
4. You have a determination and persistence that allows you to persevere through major challenges.
5. You are close to the Father's heart - that is how He sees each of us.

So as you read this, are you expecting good from your day or evil? Is your work being defined by hope or by fear?

I pray that it is by hope - the hope that comes from the heart of God.


JC said...

Those who constantly despair have little ability to innovate. Their pessimistic attitude squashes any ability to see things creatively. And despair gives birth to fear... conversely hope gives birth to love!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for helping those of us who live a life of hope to realize that we are different from those who don't. I don't think I thought about hope quite that way - especially your list. I always give people more chances than expected, even when I think they might not change... I always hope they will. Great writing.

Buck said...

My wife and I are truly representatives of both fear and hope. I respect her fear because it keeps my hopes in a reality check. We actually need each other or else the hopeful become too aggressive and the fearful become too passive. We live and work inside the Indian tribes of Brazil and we need each other to see their vision but remain realistic enough to accomplish their goals.

Anonymous said...

AS someone who is constantly in a challenging situation here in West Africa, I always have to be one of those thinking "It might work." Any other sort of thinking leads to failure or stagnation at least. Without the "It might work" attitude your creativity goes right out the window.

Marty said...

Hi Jon!

This is great! Can I use it on my facebook profile page if I give you credit? If not that is OK.

Take care,

Jon and Mindy Hirst said...


You are right to connect hope to love. That is one thing that I have been thinking alot about. It is hope that allows us to love those around us. We see beyond the sin and imperfection to what God sees in people and circumstances.

Jon and Mindy Hirst said...

Anonymous 1,

You are welcome. I know it is hard to live a life of hope and so it helps to know that others are doing the same. One of the things about people is that they always surprise us. Whenever we put people in boxes or write them off, they have a way of breaking out.

Jon and Mindy Hirst said...


Thanks for sharing. You are right. The optimism and the reserved nature can be a great team. Especially when each member values the other's trait. I think that makes for a dyanmic team that can rush forward with opportunities and also hold back when caution is necessary.

Jon and Mindy Hirst said...

Anonymous 2,

Especially in places like Africa, we need a bold hope don't we? So many people have given into the pessimism of the challenges, but we know in Christ that there is hope for every person, village, city, country and continent! Keep your hope alive!

Jon and Mindy Hirst said...


Yes, you can use it. Mindy got it from the Strong's definitions of the word.

In our upcoming book that will be out in Jan/Feb of 09, we talk alot about this concept of hope. I hope you will get to read it.

twward said...

Hope explores.
Fear sits.

Hope anticipates.
Fear frets.

Hope interprets.
Fear hides.

Hope looks ahead.
Fear looks over the shoulder.

Hope anticipates possibilities.
Fear assumes the worst.

Hope imagines.
Fear denies.

Hope steps forward on set-backs.
Fear reads set-backs as failure.

Hope creates.
Fear destroys.

twward, 12-1-08

Jon and Mindy Hirst said...


Thanks for sharing those simple lines. They show such a stark contrast between fear and hope!