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What is Hope?

Webster’s dictionary defines hope as “desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment.” 


But with this definition, some people may wonder, “what is hope?” and even more specifically, “How can I have more hope?”


In a worldly sense, hope can be pretty simple. One can hope that their package will arrive in the mail, or they can hope they will get a job offer. Basically, they want a certain thing to take place. This specific connotation of hope is a little uncertain. As defined in a writing about gospel topics, real hope in the gospel sense is “sure, unwavering, and active,” (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints). 


Considering that hope is “active”, what does that mean for us? How can we actively have hope? 


When one believes in good to come, and has an unwavering hope in that, they are able to move forward. Even when outside forces seem to be against us, we can actively have hope by knowing relief will come and moving forward regardless of the circumstances. We can do good things in the midst of hard times. We can still show gratitude, hoping our situation will improve by the grace of God. Hope allows us to change our perspective and know that life is more than just the moment we are facing. 


Our hope does not have to be perfect to make a difference. 


For example, picture yourself in a dark room. It is so dark that no matter how wide you open your eyes, you cannot even see your hand right in front of your face. The darkness is almost tangible. But, what happens if the smallest match lights– not even a match, just one single spark? You would be able to see it. The darkness, no matter how dark, will always give way to light, no matter how small. In the darkest part of life, the light will always win. The David sized light will always defeat the Goliath sized darkness. In this, you can find hope. 


Desmond Tutu stated, “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” So while it can be easy to have hope in the light, the true test of hope is when life seems darkest. But this is when it is the most necessary. 


Not only does hope get us through hard times, but it can also just make us happier in general.


Psalm 146:5 says, “Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God” When we have something to hold onto, such as a higher power, we can be joyful in any circumstance. It really is all about perspective. A hopeful perspective can make the ability to feel joy more attainable. You can come to find peace in hard times, and instead of worrying, you can make room for joy.


Life is hard. There are times when hope is lost. But when we learn to have hope, we can feel joy no matter the situation. What can you do to increase your hope? 


-Written by Hannah Judd

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