Hope in the Midst of Suffering People anchor their hope in all sorts of things, and when that hope is misplaced, stolen, or lost, it creates a vacuum. The absence of hope is evident in a loss of direction and despair. People who are hurting, particularly those who have struggled for years, believe that the future will be a continuation of the past. They cannot grasp that life can be richer and more meaningful than it has been. In contrast with despair that the future will be a continuation of the past, hope brings the belief that the future can offer new life.