Wishing or Hoping? Which should it be?

If I were to ask you, “What do you wish for?” what would your answer be?

What about the question, “What do you hope for?”

Would your answers be the same or different?

Often times the words “wish” and “hope” are used interchangeably but they mean very different things.

As spiritual people, our lives will be richer and more fulfilling if we begin relying on “hope” rather than “wishing.”

In fact, the word “wish” is perhaps a word we should ban from our vocabulary.

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of wish and hope are quite different.

Wish: to have a desire for (as something unattainable)

Hope: desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment <came in hopes of seeing you>; also : expectation of fulfillment or success (https://www.google.com/search?q=definition+of+hope&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8#safe=off&q=definition+of+wish)

Wishing is desiring something most likely unattainable. Hoping is to desire something while accompanying that desire with an expectation that, YES! it is going to happen! A belief in the fulfillment of the dream.

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For thousands of years the people who knew there was a connection with a deity, a supreme being, The Force, or, as we know it – God, relied not on their wishes but rather their hopes.

Desires, hopes, and dreams inspire action.

Wishing is a substitute for action and it creates a kind of passive optimism that can paralyze us into a happy fog of complacency. (Brian McLaren We Make the Road by Walking).

However, happy fogs of complacency do not help us reach that which we wish for, thus we need not “wish” but rather, we need to “hope.”

When we hope – we also recognize we have to struggle, work, sacrifice, plan, and strive to achieve that for which we hope. We don’t expect things to just “happen” or “fall into place.” We understand that it is through our effort, leaning into The Force, God, that will help us move forward in the path of The Way that leads to life, love, and ultimate peace and contentment.

What is it that you hope for today?

Psalm 32:8

I will instruct you and teach you

   about the direction you should go.

   I’ll advise you and keep my eye on you.



Gracious God, You know my hopes . . . you know my dreams.

You know the struggles that I have been through to get to this place, and I know those are not the only struggles, there will be more in the days ahead. Help me not shy away from my hopes and dreams simply because they seem difficult to achieve. Give me courage, perseverance, and hope so that I may be all that You created me to be. Amen