The Problem with Hope

The Problem of Hope

This post is part 1 of a 5-part series, World in Crisis

Hope is a very underrated strategic factor when we talk about change. We often see hope as something we give away. It is more of the end result rather than part of the process.

But without hope at the beginning, we don’t even try to pursue change. I’m afraid we are at the stage of hopelessness in many areas and aspects of the world. Problems are too big, too complex, and too difficult to grasp. There’s a lack of clarity about the problem, let alone the solution. And lack of clarity breeds inaction.  

The dictionary defines hope as “a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen.”

In that definition of hope, there are two critical thoughts: Expectation and Desire.

I believe we are born with both — we are created in God’s image with both a desire and an expectation of good! Yet because of sin, situations around us, and our own selfishness, the elements of hope begin to erode over time. First, we lose our expectations, and eventually, we lose desire. When we lose desire, we are truly hopeless.

I believe the crisis of hope can unfold like this: 

  • Stage 1: We start as someone full of hope, life, vitality, and see the possibilities.
  • Stage 2: Frustrated. At this stage, we face some challenges, but we still are in the battle.
  • Stage 3: Despair. In this stage, we still care and are emotional about it.
  • Stage 4: Resignation. At this stage, we stop trying. We care, but we stop trying.
  • Stage 5: Complacency. At this stage, we don’t care anymore. We lose our feelings about issues around us. We still could care but we don’t.
  • Stage 6: Detachment. A detached individual begins to lose the actual ability to care.

The crisis we face today is one of hope, with most people caught in stages 3, 4, and 5.

The Assembli Movement is about finding the sparks, the hidden places of life and hope, and fanning the flames – all the way back up to active engagement in the world’s issues and the celebration of goodness, beauty, truth, and redemption.

I hold tightly to the hope that we can give people a pathway back to hope.

To learn more on this topic, listen to the Mission Qritical podcast hosted by our parent organization Lead555.

About the Author

Picture of Mark Orr

Mark Orr

Mark was raised as a missionary kid in Brazil. He has committed his life to helping emerging leaders be more effective, and ultimately the Church more able to carry out her Mission in the world. He has previously served in global refugee mission work. Mark and his family are Canadians, but have lived in the UK, Greece, and Uganda over the last 10 years.


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