In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Imaam Ahmad [rahimahullaah] said: It is obligated on a person that his fear and hope are the same because if one of them is more than the other he is destroyed.”
Amongst the scholars are those who say that if you desire to perform an act of obedience, you should have more hope that Allaah will accept it, raise your status by way of it and strengthen you. And if you desire to commit an act of disobedience, you should have more fear so that you do not fall into it.
And amongst the scholars are those who say that fear and hope should be based on the circumstances of a person. If one is in a state of poor health, he should have more hope because the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] said, “None of you should die except whilst having good thoughts about Allaah”. This is because if one has overwhelming fear whilst he is in a state of poor health, it may lead him to despair of Allaah’s Mercy. As for when one is in a state of good health, he should have more fear because a state of good health is a reason for corruption [i.e. it corrupts some people because they take it for granted and are ungrateful etc].
The best position – in my view – regarding this dangerous subject matter is that a person (approaches the affair) based on his circumstances and the position that is more precise is that a person should have more hope when he performs a good deed, and when he desires an evil deed, he should have more fear.
[Sharh Hilyatil Taaluibal Ilm. Page 35-36]