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  • Writer's pictureMark Alan Williams

“What drives more of your activities: hope or fear?” –Unknown

Hope or fear, of the two options, which one is the driving force behind more of your activities? Each day, we can choose hope or fear to control our thoughts, help us make decisions and motivate us to take action.

This is a guest post by Beth Harris. She is a wife, mother, Bible study leader and volunteer editor for

If I had to choose between hope or fear as the driving force for my activities, I would have to

admit that I like others, alternate between the two. I can be more of a glass half empty person, but honestly, the more time I spend in the Word, prayer and worship the more hope I have and the less fear torments me. There is a wonderful app called Scripture Typer. It is a Bible verse memorization tool, that I have been using for the past year and I currently have memorized 20 new verses as a result.

As long as we have breath in our lungs, we should have hope. Between hope or fear, I think we should be motivated by hope. Because, hope means that we are trusting in God and His promises and fear means that we may doubt Him and His ability to keep them. I don’t think we can err on the side of having too much hope but, we can definitely be paralyzed by having too much fear.

Hope or fear can motivate us to set and accomplish goals, but are they equally helpful? Everyone is motivated for different reasons and they can be varied and individual. But, of the two what drives more of your activities, hope or fear?

For example: a person might be motivated to make a lifestyle change, because they hope that it will give them a better quality of life and health, versus, a person being motivated to make a lifestyle change because they fear pain, disease and premature death.

As Christians, our activities should be motivated by hope. However, even hope can be misplaced if the quest for meaning and happiness in life lies in the temporal things of this world, which will ultimately disappoint us.

The Bible gives us many reasons to have hope in Christ, because He will not disappoint us.

promise that has been made is yes in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20).

Romans 5:5 says, “And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (NIV)

This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. (Hebrews 6:19 NLT)

Hope that is based on faith in God; is encouraging and positive, because we are placing all our trust in His promises which are for our benefit; versus, fear which usually means that we are not trusting God and thinking as though everything depended on us.

Have you ever heard anyone say they are struggling because they have too much hope? No,

usually people are struggling because they have fear.

Are you motivated by hope or fear? The Bible also tells us not to fear over and over again.

  • Isaiah 41:10 says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (NIV)

  • Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid or terrified of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” (NIV)

Psalm 42:11 says, “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God!” (NLT)

Fear can truly paralyze us, especially, if we spend too much time worrying about what others think or if we allow it to torment us to the point of stunting our growth and maturity.

However, the Bible tells us that the fear of the Lord leads to wisdom (Proverbs 1:7). So, we

should have a fear of God, or reverence which is a deep respect for Him, because of who He is

and His great power.

But, if we are in Christ, then we are under grace and we know that God loves and has forgiven

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. (1 John 4:18 ESV)

In addition, we don’t want to allow fear to immobilize or cloud our outlook on life by causing us undue paranoia and suspicion. Tormenting fear is not from God.

  • 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (NKJV)

  • 2 Corinthians 3:17 says, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (NIV)

Our hope in the Lord and healthy fear of Him should be what drives our activities.

Please comment below and answer: What drives more of your activities: hope or fear?

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