Hope is a strange thing. You don't know that you need to think about it usually until it is to late. The Sh#t has has already hit the fan.
I did my major Old Testement essay on the afterlife. It was obscure, many scholars infusing New Testement ideas into the Old. But from what I could gather Jews from the Old Testement did not believe in a heaven as such. There was sheol the place for the dead, but it was no heaven. A waiting room, waiting for the messiah. Maybe a new earth, but not the Christian equivalent of heaven. The Old Testements ideas of the afterlife are full of metaphors which many things can be read into.
Was the ideas of heaven even in the Old Testement? Old Testement scholars argue and point to obsure references, which then become clearer when the New Testement came along. But just reading the unadulterated text I'd say no. Heaven, the glorious afterlife didn't exist.
One Jewish idea from the Old Testement was that new life or eternity was given though the Childern. Hope for the future after death was found in Children; if not your own maybe your brothers or some other relative.
So if you where given a diagnosis of terminal cancer; a hopeless situation. What would you do? Where would your hope come from?
The hope of heaven, which nobody has even come back to tell us about?
To look at the face of a child and see hope?
I don't know. Both are appealing yet not fully satisfying.
For me when I am in a hopeless situation, and I admit I have never faced a life threatening situation. I look at psalm 23. For me it is very much the here and now. To be remined, centered. That God's presence is here, now. That that His presence is a place of peace. That God, in his nature, eventually turns troubled times, into good. Even if we cannot see it happening now or into the future.
Psalm 23A psalm of David.
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD