Ever feel trapped as if you are watching your life deteriorate in front of your eyes and you can do nothing? Or certain difficult circumstances lead you into wishing for a new life? But that new life will never come. Or so you think; or so your negativity wants you to think. An unseen enemy is always waiting for you to give up and then he pounces on you. He sometimes pulls your strings just so he can do just that. You are then either made miserable or you commit something harmful. Depending upon what it is, it might not be as hurtful to those around you at first. But beware, misery or caving into misery always has repercussions that will eventually cause harm or maybe worse.
However there is one thing you can do to counter this trap. It is very well-known concept but not recognized for its true being. It is simply to hope. Hope is the most powerful of virtues. C.S. Lewis said that “Courage is the foundation of virtues,” but it takes a specific kind of hope to be courageous. Hope is more than wishing that tomorrow will be sunny. It is more than just implicit optimism. It is holding onto something even when everything else is pushing against it. To have hope in the most discouraging circumstances is more than being optimistic. It is being heroic. Therefore, hope is essentially courage.
Hope is the armor we wear to fight in the battles of life. Discouragement, alone, is our utter ruin. So putting this into perspective, wouldn’t hope—the refusal of such a thing—be the perfect remedy?
History is written and held together by this one golden thread of hope. Why do soldiers sacrifice their life if they have not the hope that future generations may be delivered? How could a man who has lost his legs run and win a race? Or a blind and deaf woman learn to read, write, and even speak? What makes the gravest sinner into the holiest saint? It is because even in their darkest trials they had hope as their only light. They proceeded onward, undaunted by the doubt and discouragement that would swallow them if they surrendered to it. They never lost their dreams. They held on to the fact that there would be a tomorrow. If one should lose everything in his or her life, yet not lose their hope, they have lost nothing.
We often give in to negative thoughts too easily. We give them too much credit and make them heavier than they actually are. To counter all attacks of negativity and to simply render them helpless, we should not dwell so much on the negative. We must hope for better times instead.
Padre Pio stated wisely, “Pray, hope, and don’t worry.” Better times will come, as long as we stay focused on our hope.
But it doesn’t stop here. It is not a matter simply to say, “OK, I’ll be more hopeful.” It takes time, and patience to keep this resolve. We must choose to persevere in hope. It doesn’t simply come to you, it must be invited. It is essentially a plant, one that must be nurtured each day; it won’t blossom into a flower if you ignore it. The only way hope will die, is in our hearts. Therefore, we must ignite the perpetual flame and resist all discouragements.
Even in our times, this is a battle all of us face. However when we have hope, we become unstoppable. The Victory is theirs who stay firm.
M. C. Furgal, New York
We call on all of our readers to share the timeless values that define right and wrong, and pass the torch, if you will, through your wisdom and hard-earned experience. We feel that the passing down of this wisdom has diminished over time, and that only with a strong moral foundation can future generations thrive.
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