How NOT to Lose Hope in Difficult Times

Posted by Donald Latumahina

How Not to Lose HopeLike it or not, there will be difficult times in our lives. You might lose your job, fail in your business, or have an illness. Whatever it is, it’s essential that you don’t lose hope. You must have hope that you will go through it. If you don’t, you will only drag yourself down. You will enter a vicious cycle where your negative attitude makes the situation worse, which makes you even more negative, and so on.

Don’t let that happen to you. Be prepared for difficult times so that you are ready when they come.

Here is how not to lose hope in difficult times:

1. Have faith.

Based on my experiences, to not lose hope you must have faith. You must believe that things will work out well in the end.

In my case, I believe that God is in control of my life and has a good plan for me. No matter how bad the situation looks, I’ve learned to trust Him, even if I don’t understand how things will work. Time and again, things turn out to be good, often in a way that I couldn’t understand earlier.

Just to give you one example, several years back I failed my Master’s degree at a local university for reasons that were beyond my control. It was a really bad experience, especially given how hard I had been working on it. But I learned to trust God in that situation. That gave me the faith to get through it. Long story short, I eventually got a scholarship at an overseas university that was of much better quality than my previous university. I learned a lot more there than I could ever otherwise.

Experiences like this strengthen my belief that having faith is essential in difficult times. In fact, I believe it to be the most important tip here, which is why I list it first.

2. Remember your “why.”

When you are in a difficult time, you should remember: why do you do what you are doing in the first place? What is it that you are after? Remembering your why gives you the strength to keep going because the cause will pull you ahead. As Viktor Frankl once said: “Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how.’”

There are two points here:

  1. Always have a cause in whatever you do. To put it simply, if you don’t have a why, then don’t do it.
  2. Always remember what the cause is. Keep it front in your mind so that you don’t lose sight of it.

To be effective, the cause should be bigger than yourself. A self-centered “cause” won’t work. It must be something that gives you inner satisfaction rather than external rewards. It must be inspiring.

3. Be around supportive people.

Going through difficult times is hard, but going through them alone is even harder. You need a group of positive people who can support you. You should become a part of a community that cares and encourages one another. If you don’t, my suggestion is to start looking for one. Don’t wait until you need it, because by then it will be too late. You need the community before difficult times come.

4. Help others.

An additional benefit of being in a good community is it encourages you to think about other people. It pushes you to help others and, therefore, think about other people. This way you shift your focus away from yourself. As a result, your situation won’t look as bad as it would otherwise.

Often the situation looks worse than it really is because we give it too much attention. Shifting some of your attention away will put the situation in a better perspective.


When you are in a difficult time, remember: don’t lose hope. Hope is essential; once you lose it, you already lose the game. Furthermore, it’s your responsibility to not lose hope. You can make it as long as you don’t break it.

Photo by Bigstock

Categories: Attitude

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22 Responses so far.

  1. As for remembering your “why”, writing down your own personal vision and mission statement can really help with this.

    Good stuff Donald, thanks for sharing!

  2. Lyne says:

    And so if one loses hope, how do they go about getting it back?

  3. Joyce says:

    Faith is so important. Sometimes when things take a long time – we start to loose faith and begin to doubt. Holding on to faith I believe is the Key.

  4. Hiw says:

    Excelent advice. Faith is very important. If you lose faith just remembed your why and get encouragement from supportive people to regain your faith.

  5. Thanks for this entry, Donald.

    You didn’t include a fifth heading, which you mentioned under ‘Faith’: persist. Though your first pass at a master’s degree didn’t work out, you persisted and won an overseas scholarship.

    Faith is the fuel that drives our persistence. While faith can move mountains, you have to place your hands firmly on the rock face and keep pushing!

  6. Mary Ng Shwu Ling says:

    Thanks for this article, Donald!

    Bibles verses and inspirational quotes can sustain us in difficult times. The words of hymns and songs can also make a difference.

    Prayer too. Knowing that God is always there for us and listening to our prayers during difficult times also helps.

  7. I think faith is really important – without it we can just drift in to meaninglessness.

  8. Chim Aaron says:

    Had no idea you were a Christian Donald. I am too and I agree that faith is indeed important. But I think even non-Christians can learn to believe that it’s not over. I am beginning to value your second point more and more. It really does make a difference why you’re doing what you’re doing. Another tip I would add is that it really helps to listen to or read motivational and inspirational content, if possible, early in the morning. This can really lift you and give you a sense of hope, even if you’re going through hell.

  9. Onder Hassan says:

    I’m actually going through a tough time at the moment having been without a job for a year. So I can completely relate to this article. I think the biggest thing that kept me going was my family who have supported me throughout this difficult time. Aside from that, I don’t think there is anyone else out there who could have helped besides just giving moral support.

    If I could give one piece of advice, it would be to ensure you have enough saved in the bank to cover you for rainy days as lack of money is what causes stress.

  10. Neelabh says:

    Hope is a powerful tool that helps you to arrange the dismantled objects in the right position. Hope is not just a consoling word, it’s power is not easily understood. It has a lot of power and does act in the best manner for a man. Keep the spirit high. With hope have faith on god. He’s there to make passages which are as comfortable as the beds of roses. He watches us and knows what’s wrong or right for us. What ever happened, happened for the best. Whatever is Happening is happening for the best. Whatever will Happen will happen for the best.!

  11. ShawnVBranch says:

    I also try to remember that God is bigger than the situation. Sometimes we have to step back, take a deep breathe and let God handle it. Every difficult situation will pass.

  12. Every difficult situation has a lesson in it. It all depends on how you see it.

  13. Kippa says:

    Hi there,

    Thank you for writing this post. Lately I’ve been feeling like a negative force has been holding me back from a situation. Unfortunately I’ve been stuck focusing on this situation for nearly 4 months and it has really impacted my productivity though I hate to walk away from it.

    I met someone 3 months ago and we seemed to really hit it off. We said we would see each other again when that person came back to the city after being away in school but nearly a month and a half has gone by and I haven’t seen that person. Although we’ve been in touch, that person’s schedule has been full (for good reason). They said we would get together soon and that they want to meet up with me but sometimes it feels like it simply won’t happen.

    I tried to take matters in my own hands and ask the person out for coffee so we could catch up, and though they were willing, our plans never got off the ground. I would like to leave this in the Lord’s hands but I am afraid that because it’s left in His hands then it simply won’t happen. Sometimes I’m afraid to leave things up to God because it seems like an automatic forfeit that I have to force myself to be okay with.

    Obviously I’ve been consumed with doubt and I don’t want to be doubtful. I want to this thing to work out and I feel like if the Lord didn’t want it to work out, He would’ve closed the door to this thing a long time ago (there were plenty of times that should’ve could’ve would’ve happened). I would like to be hopeful and I try to read scripture to help me be more hopeful in general and specifically for this situation.

    I don’t really want to let this person go just yet or the situation. They haven’t done anything wrong for me to let them go but at the same time I’m a little sad/disappointed because the friendship is taking a long time to get off the ground. My brother says I shouldn’t worry about it and that his friendship took a long time to develop before he and his then girlfriend made any progress. Now they’re married and expecting their first child in 2 months.

    I would like to see where this friendship goes but I guess I’m just being impatient and fearful and doubtful. Every time I seem to feel hopeful and optimistic but I feel like I get knocked back down and then the situation seems worse.

    How can I have hope? Is this a silly thing to ask of God to mend??

  14. Deepak Web-Developer says:

    When we feel darkness all around, when things goes worse and worse and when nothing seems to work for us; there is one thing that keep us going: HOPE.

    Thanks for the nice article