Book Review – Scary Hope by Gary Morland


When a book (or eBook, this case) has the subtitle “Courage and a kick to hug hope, face fear, and get going,” it’s written for me.

And Scary Hope by Gary Morland is written for me.

“Hope just means another world might be possible, not promised, not guaranteed. Hope calls for action; action is impossible without hope.” – Rebecca Solnit (quoted in Scary Hope)

The author starts with a list of “hopes.” Not for the book itself, but for the readers of this book. That’s when I knew this book was written with heart, interest in others, and love.

I hope you spend more time pursuing than regretting, second-guessing, and woe-is-me’ing. (Scary Hope, Kindle Edition.)

“Do you naturally, on your own, think positive about yourself, other people, and circumstances? Left to yourself, with no one to talk to, can you get critical and depressed? I think it’s part of our fallen, human condition. The Bible tells us to think about good and positive things, to “set your mind on things that are above.” The Bible has to tell us that because we don’t naturally do it. We need help.” (Scary Hope, Kindle Edition.)

It is important to distinguish between the hope we mean when we consider God’s hope. That hope is expected, not a dream. The author discusses this hope some, but he also touches on the hopes we have for our lives in this age – our hopes within God’s grander hope.

We need His help to hope. We need His hope. To desire with reasonable confidence. To expect. To trust.

Part of the author’s message asserts that we never know an outcome until we act. How will I know if I can write until I write? How can you know if you can run a 5k until you run? How will we know if others will respond to God’s Word until we share it with them? Hope inspires action.

The author covers hidden hope, scary hope, joy in the midst of unfilled hope, persevering hope, and does it all in a seven-section eBook with a conversational tone, a touch of humor, and straight-forwardness. He issues blatant truths, too, not just sugar-coated dreams of wispy “hope.”

“Hope can stay unfulfilled. You end up disappointed, crushed. It happens…Hope is confusing. Is it just your own idea, something you made up, or is there something bigger there? Often it’s hard to explain what you’re hoping for, even to yourself. You might not even understand what it is you’re hoping for.” (Scary Hope, Kindle Edition.)

The formatting seems to be a little odd in some places, but that may just be how the document translates to the application I’m using to read the eBook. But these issues are minor and do not detract from the subject matter. The author inserts a few internal discussion questions at the end of each chapter to spark application thoughts while you read.

“What if the depth of your wilderness was equal to the depth of the coming fulfillment of your hope?” (Scary Hope, Kindle Edition.)

Scared of hope? Sometimes hope is scary. But it’s worth it.

“Finding strength in the Lord your God is no guarantee your hope will be fulfilled. But it is strength for one more step than you think is possible.” (Scary Hope, Kindle Edition.)


“When you stare at your hope, the scary is still there. But hope is bigger. When you stare at the scary, hope is still there. But fear is bigger. You stare at your fear, or you stare at your hope Whatever you stare at wins.” (Scary Hope, Kindle Edition.)

Question for you: What do you hope for, and what makes that hope scary to you?

Disclosure: I have no material connection to this product. All opinions expressed are my own.