The Danger Of Hope

Have you ever thought about “hope” as a dangerous thing?

What made you think you could actually do something this big? It’s a great question, especially if you consider what’s behind it.

I think most of us—myself included—think about “changing the world” as someone else’s role.

Super powers

We’re deluded into believing that world-changers are fundamentally different from the rest of us. They’re superheroes blessed with some special talent or vision. Nothing frightens or discourages them. They welcome adversity and laugh in the face of uncertainty and failure. World-changing is for Jesus and Ghandi and Mother Teresa.

I believed that for a long time, and mostly I still act in those terms. I’m just an old bald guy in a wheelchair. All I ever did was teach math to squirrely adolescents. Who am I to think I can actually make any real difference?

But every once in a while a strange thing happens—I actually take God seriously. I let the stuff about grace and forgiveness and new beginnings sneak behind my carefully crafted mask of insignificance. And when that happens, when I allow myself to comprehend what it all really means, everything changes.


In the brief moments when I claim God’s promises I experience hope, an expectation based on faith.

As soon as your notion of hope shifts from “wish” to “expectation,” you enter dangerous territory.

The moment you accept the radical idea that you’re not insignificant, that God’s given you a unique set of gifts and the ability to use them, you really have only two choices. You either turn away in fear and go back to pretending that you’re really just an inconsequential speck of dust—or you step forward and face the frightening reality that your work and your life have eternal consequences. That’s an awesome responsibility.

I’d do it if …

God did not create you and me to be ordinary. He doesn’t want us to sit around and wish we could be special and accomplish amazing things. I think we mostly believe that we’d do great things if only we had that ability or that power or that financial security. That’s probably a self-delusion. Plenty of folks have all sorts of ability and power and money and never do anything extraordinary with them.

We see the end result of a world-changing life; we ignore the thousands of seemingly small decision points that created that result. The terrifying reality is that we’re all one bold choice—and a great deal of hard work—away from changing our corner of the world.

You’re one frightening choice away from being a remarkable parent, teacher, employee, spouse…whatever. God’s version of hope allows you to step out in faith, despite the evidence, and work until the evidence changes before your eyes.

What made me think I could do something this big? In a moment of weakness I took God at His word.

You need to be careful about that. God’s Word changes everything.

What would happen if you shifted your notion of hope from a wish to an expectation based on faith?

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Copyright 2010 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site

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