We can't live very long without hope. When we lose hope we give into despair or despondency and we stop trying to improve ourselves or our circumstances in life. When this happens we start to indulge in self-centered or self-destructive behaviors and we give into our base instincts.
We may become despondent, but God never stops trying to help us bridge the gap between what we are and what we could be and give us hope. In 1848, John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801 - 1890) wrote this beautiful poem that many have found very comforting during difficult times.
if I do but keep His commandments and serve Him in my calling.
I ask not to see... I ask not to know... I ask simply to be used.