On a morning news program today they reported a connection between Robin Williams’ Parkinson’s disease and his depression leading to suicide. What struck me in the report was this: the reporter turned to the doctor and said something to the effect that we should give people hope. She responded with some words concerning the treatability of Parkinson’s. Hope was, for me, the operative word in that exchange. Without hope we humans have little to live for. Hopelessness is the great enemy of human happiness. Without hope we may survive, but we cannot thrive.

In the only New Testament effort to define faith in a single sentence, the writer of Hebrews connects faith with hope saying; “Faith is the assurance (hupostasis-that which provides substance) of hope, the certainty of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) Faith and hope are married. If we lose faith we lose hope, and faith is lost if hope is lost. As with everything else in the world this connection is not limited to explicitly religious thought and experience. It applies to all of life because God has designed us that way.

Humans who love and care about this world must be about the work of providing hope to others. So I applaud the broadcaster who thought immediately, let’s give the people hope. Yes, let’s!