Hope is anything but wishful thinking. It is expectation based on experience.
I read that in an article years ago and wish I knew whom to credit. I forgot the source long ago, but remembered the words. They mean a lot to me.
The way I interpret it, I can and should and will have hope because God has absolutely been good to me in the past. I have truly been blessed. Because of that past experience, I have expectation that his goodness and blessings will continue. I have hope. I have hope in and through and because of my Savior, Jesus Christ.
The way may be dark and difficult at times, and I may (OK, I do!) wait longer than I’d like for the blessings to come, but I know they will. Somehow. Someday. In His will. His way. His time.
Of course, it’s not just waiting. It’s active working and praying along with hoping. It’s working hard to reach my goals and fulfill my dreams, to serve and love and obey. It’s praying hard to align my will with His.
At church on Sunday, we sang a beautiful hymn that is shared across denominations: Be Still My Soul. It spoke powerfully to me, reminding me that God is at the helm and I can and should be at peace, filled with hope.
…Leave to thy God to order and provide;In ev’ry change he faithful will remain.……Be still, my soul: Thy God doth undertakeTo guide the future as he has the past.Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;All now mysterious shall be bright at last.Be still, my soul: The waves and winds still knowHis voice who ruled them while he dwelt below.-words written by Katharina von Schlegel in Germany in the 18th century