I love, love, love when a book exceeds my expectations.
I honestly didn’t know how I’d like The Hope Quotient by Ray Johnston (Thomas Nelson, 2014) when I first received it for review. And I am more than happy to tell you that you’ll want to read it too. It’s a fantastic book.
Ray Johnston is a founding pastor of a megachurch in California (Bayside, which has multiple campuses) and the founder of Thriving Churches International. In The Hope Quotient, he discusses how essential hope is to every aspect of life and seven factors to raise your hope to thrive in life.
By just the back cover copy, this book seems like a self-help, 7-step program kind of book, which is why I was a little skeptical. And, really, it does offer some direct, practical steps to take. But, it’s also so much more.
Plus, the introduction starts like this:
Inspiring from the start!
Ray spends the first three chapters of the book welcoming the reader into a conversation about hope. Ray explains how many people who feel tired, drained, overwhelmed are actually discouraged. And discouragement means a lack of hope. That lack of hope affects every decision, every thought, every interaction. But, hope. Hope changes it all. Particularly because that hope comes from grace-given love from God.
He offers the main point of the book right away:
“…thriving people thrive for one reason – they commit to things that produce inner strength and hope.” – p. xviii
The rest of the chapters support and detail that point, along with how to spill that hope onto others.
“The truth is the greatest gift you or I can give anyone is hope.” – p. 5
But the author doesn’t just state the positives of hope. He offers entertaining, inspiring, and powerful stories from his own experiences and others’ to surprise, put you in awe, and cheer. His tone holds a pleasing balance of goofy, clever humor and intriguing observations and calls-to-action. The numerous amount of stories, references, and quotes from others help support his mainstay that it takes a team to thrive.
This book covers topics from rest to personal gifts/skills to fear to community, all within the realm of building and sharing hope to live life for God. (Read here for an introduction to the chapter titles.) Divided into 17 chapters in 3 major sections, this book offers ideas you can incorporate into your marriage, family, career, and community, but without being hokey or judgmental.
This whole book inspires me to do two main things: take appropriate actions to make sure I stay encouraged (because that affects everyone around me) and make every effort to be an encourager to others (spread encouragement rather than discouragement).
“The discipline of asking ‘What can this person become?’ is crucial to fueling hope and achieving dreams.” – p. 167
How do you maintain hope in your faith and daily life?
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest reviews. All opinions expressed are my own. I was not compensated in any other way.
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