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The Meaning of Hope

Updated on June 19, 2013

I hope I don't have homework tonight. I hope he takes me somewhere romantic for Valentine's Day. I hope I still fit into my old dress. I hope we can get away for the summer. I hope she knows what she's doing. I hope I get what I want for Christmas.

That seems the correct use of the word, doesn't it? These are things we hope for. We clench our hands together and close our eyes, maybe raise our shoulders with tension in expression of how badly we want it... and we hope it will bring us what we wish for. We wish for many things- and sometimes, those things come true. Sometimes they don't. Sometimes it seems very possible and other times it's a long shot. Does it ever feel certain? In fact, if it felt certain, would we even use the word "hope"?

If you look back to the biblical meaning of the word "hope", you'll learn this: The Greek translation is "elpis", which means confident expectation. Not a wish, not just a chance or a bit of possibility. Hope means to confidently expect something. It involves certainty. Hoping for something means that you have faith in it, that you trust it. In fact, the Hebrew translation for hope translates to "trust".

Here's what you'll find today as definitions of "hope": These variations on the meaning of the word are actually huge when it comes to usage.

Why did people start using the word "hope" interchangeably with the words "want" and "wish"? Look back to the first statements of this article. Do we really use those statements when we are sure and confident that they are inevitable and true? Not likely. Maybe some of us do, or sometimes. Perhaps the word just stuck around even when people in history went through phases of losing faith, confidence and trust. The word stayed, but the use of it changed according to the level of certainty they felt in their own power of creativity, their faith in their own role of creating their own life, and trusting that God or the Universe or Source will give them exactly what they want.

Why does hope usually not carry much weight anymore? Why can't we just see what we want to have or experience, and expect it to happen? Can we? Is it really that easy? It can be and it should be. How do we make the switch from wanting to truly hoping and trusting? That is the fun part.

Have you ever noticed how you feel when you think about something you like? This is the key to hope. If you don't have the money for it in your pocket, or see how an experience like that will possibly come into your life, then that is not hope. That is doubt, and you most likely don't feel good thinking about it, even though it's something you want. You'll automatically switch to feeling helpless and frustrated with the idea of not having it... yet. If you happen to have wads of cash in your wallet, then you have no excuse to feel like it can't happen, so you automatically assume it will. There is no reason to not trust that the wish can happen, because you have that FEELING of having the resources for it, and the ease that comes along with it. Your body is probably more relaxed, and you feel great about it.

True hope means that you trust that the resources are there and that they are finding their way to you so that you can materially witness your wish come true. It is to look at something you want, reach into your pocket and feel how you will feel if you had the money in your pocket already. You cannot hope for something then feel bad about not having it. Hoping for it means you are calling it to be. If you don't know how you are going to buy your first home or how you are going to meet your soul mate, start viewing things from a different perspective. That is what a truly hopeful person does. They do not look at the things they ask for in their heart from the perspective of not having it. They consider that it is already theirs and they are open to the receiving of it by being in the mental state of already having it. That is why the rich don't think anything of being rich. They expect it, and it is easy to do that because they see their bank accounts and wallets full. If you can see yours full also, then regardless of what your situation is like now, you have to be rich as well. It's certain.

We like to talk about money and objects, but that is natural because as humans, we like to measure things we can see and feel. However, understanding and practicing true hope has many of its benefits in our relationships with one another, as well as in our own well being. Our experiences in any form are dependent on our ability to hope, trust, and have faith... to know.


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