We have a deep and
pressing need for hope. 
It takes hope for
parents to bring a baby into the world, to hold a little one in their arms and
to become, from that child’s first breath, the people most responsible for
providing what that child needs and for shaping how he or she feels about the
world and about God.
It takes hope to help
a friend or family member who struggles with addiction—to believe, on the one
hand, that he can quit drinking or drugging or excessively spending or
dangerously overeating; and, on the other, to know that he can only do it
meaningfully if you don’t try to do the impossible, which is to do it for him.
You and he need hope that there are health and happiness on the other side of
your tough love and his hard work.  Otherwise,
you’ll give up when it gets really challenging, and so will he, and the
vicious, downward cycle will start again.
It takes hope to
begin a new job in a strange place with people you don’t know—hope that,
somehow, God and you, in partnership, can fashion your work into a means of
growth and becoming, not just of putting-in time and earning a paycheck.
It takes hope to
undergo heart bypass surgery or chemotherapy, to get out of bed and take those
first painful and halting steps after knee replacement, and to return to
routine after a harrowing season of depression.
It takes hope to make
a new home out of a new house, to rebuild a shattered life, and to forgive, yet
again, people whose ability to hurt you exceeds their capacity to understand
the ways they do. 
It takes hope to walk to a grave, leave a loved one’s body there, and
return to the home you once shared, but where you now live alone.
We have to have hope—the feeling that there is welcome ahead of us and not
rejection; a conviction that mercy will mend all our brokenness, and a confidence
that grace will set-right all that we got wrong and all that went wrong. 
For me, Easter is the
assurance that hope lives on the other side of even the bleakest despair. It
is the promise that love is stronger than fear and that life is more enduring
than everything which threatens it.