There were a couple of parts I particularly liked about Elder Uchtdorf's talk on hope.
He said, "The adversary uses despair to bind hearts and minds in suffocating darkness. Despair drains from us all that is vibrant and joyful and leaves behind the empty remnants of what life was meant to be. Despair kills ambition, advances sickness, pollutes the soul, and deadens the heart. Despair can seem like a staircase that leads only and forever downward.
"Hope, on the other hand, is like the beam of sunlight rising up and above the horizon of our present circumstances. It pierces the darkness with a brilliant dawn. It encourages and inspires us to place our trust in the loving care of an eternal Heavenly Father, who has prepared a way for those who seek for eternal truth in a world of relativism, confusion, and of fear."
It is always easier to despair than to hope. What takes real courage is to hope in the face of despair.
Another thing he said that I liked was, "The things we hope in sustain us during our daily walk. They uphold us through trials, temptations, and sorrow. Everyone has experienced discouragement and difficulty. Indeed, there are times when the darkness may seem unbearable. It is in these times that the divine principles of the restored gospel we hope in can uphold us and carry us until, once again, we walk in the light."
On a related note, there is this thought in chess that is taught by a chess instructor named Dan Heisman. He calls it the theory of infinite resistance. Basically, it means that even if you are losing in a game, you do your best until you are mated. Can we do apply this to our lives? When things are dark and gloomy, we can still hope for the best and do our best. If we are overcome, then we know we did our best to survive. If we overcome the trial, then we will be that much stronger.