When life says “Give up!”

When life says “Give up!” how do you keep hope?

Uncertainty about the future, and often about the present, seems to be one of the most common and difficult trials of life, at least for me. Especially when we’re asked to “be of good cheer” and “not fear” (D&C 68:6) as we “wait upon the Lord” (Isaiah 40:31).

Sometimes I feel like things would be easier to endure if I could just be bitter.

I have wished at times that the world would tell me my life is unfair, because I did everything right, and things still didn’t work out. If everyone just recognized that I’m the victim here, then at least my trials would be validated, right?

How then do you continue to hope?

President James E. Faust seems to have known back in 1979 that I might ask these questions almost 40 years later. He directed a whole conference address at me:

“I wish to speak this morning to all, but especially to those who feel they have had more trials, sorrows, pricks, and thorns than they can bear and in their adversity are almost drowned in the waters of bitterness.”

Bitterness is not a fun place to be…

I’d much rather choose to hope!

I’d rather be wrong 9 times out of 10 hoping for something that doesn’t happen than wrong only once when it finally did. Some things I hope for seem silly and definitely illogical, but I still choose to hope :) because I believe there’s good in the world, and I don’t want to miss that good.

And I’m grateful for Christ as the best example of this, because…

“The crucifixion of Christ was clearly the greatest injustice in human history, but the Savior bore up under it with majesty and indescribable valor.” (Neal A. Maxwell)

When life told Him to give up, Christ endured by looking to “the joy that was set before him” (Hebrews 12:2). He was optimistic :)

So when life says “Give up!” then choose to hope!

p.s. It was nice having my parents in town for the weekend :) and Matt and Chandler hosted a murder mystery dinner on Halloween!

4 thoughts on “When life says “Give up!”

  1. Zach, I appreciate the honesty of your post. We could fall into the pits of despair…I mean, this life gets a little turbulent from time to time…but the quote by Neal A. Maxwell said it all. We have o bear the burdens of this life, but NEVER ALONE for we have a very present help in Christ (Psalm 46:1)!

  2. A man falls over a cliff and grabs a root to stop his fall. He cries for help. “I’m here,” a voice says. “I’ll save you.”

    “Who are you?”

    “I’m God.”

    “Thank You, God! I’m hanging by this root. It’s the only thing I have to cling to. What should I do?”

    “Let it go.”

    . . .

    “Uh….is anyone else up there?”


    From Wikipedia…
    In Christian theology, kenosis (Greek: κένωσις, kénōsis, lit. [the act of emptying]) is the ‘self-emptying’ of one’s own will and becoming entirely receptive to God’s divine will.

    If you’re being asked to ‘give up,’ perhaps you should. I was and have and that has made all the difference.


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