Our lives are infused with pain and suffering. Some people experience more of these regrettable symptoms of the human condition than others. Yet, we can overcome hardship with hope. Hope provides us with strength to conquer misery and despair, caused by misfortune, perhaps an unforeseen job loss when on a Friday afternoon, after you’ve worked long hours on a project, your boss, calling your into his office, sitting you down, saying, “Your fired.”

Hope motivates us to persevere, into the darkness, to journey onward, despite the obstacles blocking the trail of life, despite not knowing how, or when, or where, or why our life’s story will conclude.

Imagine if you had no hope, life would be unbearable. Essentially, you’d feel hopeless, and in a mental state of despair. Your mind would descend into the depths of depression—you might feel suicidal. When a love relationship ended, you would believe that there is no one for you in the future. If you lost a job, you’d believe you’d never find another. If you became sick, you’d imagine you would never get well again.

Hope is not wishful thinking, nor is it magical thinking. Hope is an emotion, a mindset, a belief, a motivation, that despite setbacks and obstacles, despite hardship and misfortune, despite the unknown last chapter of your life’s story, you believe that your life will work out, that when you take your last breathe, there is something else beyond this world.

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