Hope, what exactly is it?

Two ends and a middle

The link above is to a really well written blog entry. This particular post uses a framework of interpretation for a verse from Isaiah that is strikingly similar to a discussion about Faith, Hope and Love from my Sunday School class on 5/20..

Maybe hope is best defined from the outside in by intersecting faith and love....

I couldn't help but do a little quick googling to assess the "worldly" definition.. below is a summary.. of some excerpts..

From Wikipedia:

Hope is a belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life. Hope implies a certain amount of perseverance — i.e., believing that a positive outcome is possible even when there is some evidence to the contrary. Beyond the basic definition, usage of the term hope follows some basic patterns which distinguish its usage from related terms:
* Hopefulness is somewhat different from optimism in that hope is an emotional state, whereas optimism is a conclusion reached through a deliberate thought pattern that leads to a positive attitude. But hope and optimism both can be based in unrealistic belief, or fantasy.
* Hope is often the result of faith in that while hope is an emotion, faith carries a divinely inspired and informed form of positive belief. Hope is typically contrasted with despair, but despair may also refer to a crisis of faith. Hence, when used in a religious context, hope carries a connotation being aware of spiritual truth. (In some religions, despair itself is considered to be a sin; see Hope (virtue)).
* In Catholic theology, hope is one of the three theological virtues (faith, hope, and charity), which are spiritual gifts of God. In contrast to the above, it is not a physical emotion but a spiritual grace.
* Hope is distinct from positive thinking, which refers to a therapeutic or systematic process used in psychology for reversing pessimism.
* The term false hope refers to a hope based entirely around a fantasy or an extremely unlikely outcome.

Wish is a hope or desire for something. Fictionally, wishes can be used as plot devices, and in folklore, many things are believed to be chances to "make a wish." In fiction a wish is a supernatural demand placed on the recipient's unlimited request. When it is the center of a tale, the wish is usually a template for a morality tale, "be careful what you wish for" writ large; it can also be a small part of a tale, in which case it is often used as a plot device.

Magical possibilities aside, the act of formulating a wish can be beneficial. The wisher has an opportunity to identify what they most desire ("I can have anything at all in the world--what do I want?"). Often, wishing is a time for first becoming aware of a previously-unarticulated hope. Once identified, these hopes can become personal goals.


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