Hope is trust in God’s promises, faith that if we act now, the desired blessings
will be fulfilled in the future.
I think hope is one of those words that has a lot of different definitions. I like this one from Elder Faust: hope is trust in God's promises. To me, that is "tangible." However, I think that there can come a lot of times in life when we need to have hope, although we have no specific promise from God.
A few years ago, Sister Joyce Audrey Evans, a young mother in Belfast, Northern
Ireland, was having trouble with a pregnancy. She went to the hospital, where
one of the nurses told her she would probably lose the baby. Sister Evans
replied: “But I can’t give up. … You have to give me hope.” Sister Evans later
recalled: “I couldn’t give up hope until all reason for hope was gone. It was
something I owed to my unborn child.”
Three days later she had
a miscarriage. She wrote: “For one long moment, I felt nothing. Then a profound
feeling of peace flowed through me. With the peace came understanding. I knew
now why I couldn’t give up hope in spite of all the circumstances: you either
live in hope or you live in despair. Without hope, you cannot endure to the end.
I had looked for an answer to prayers and was not disappointed; I was healed in
body and rewarded with a spirit of peace. Never before had I felt so close to my
Heavenly Father; never before had I felt such peace. …
miracle of peace was not the only blessing to come from this experience. Some
weeks later, I fell to thinking about the child I had lost. The Spirit brought
to my mind the words from Genesis 4:25 [Gen.
4:25]: ‘And she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she,
hath appointed me another seed. …’
“A few months later, I
became pregnant again. When my son was born, he was declared to be ‘perfect.’ ”
He was named Evan Seth.
At these times in our lives we need to look for the promises that we can have trust in, to give us hope. For instance, with the example above, the woman had no promise that the baby would live, and yet sahe needed hope to get her through. So what promises could she rely on? We know that God is listening to our prayers. He has promised that he loves us and is aware of us. This can give us an anchor for our hope.
Samuel Smiles wrote: “ ‘Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey towards it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.’ … Hope sweetens the memory of experiences well loved. It tempers our troubles to our growth and our strength. It befriends us in dark hours, excites us in bright ones. It lends promise to the future and purpose to the past. It turns discouragement to determination.” 8
What a blessing is hope.