The free online dictionary defines hope as “to wish for something and the confident expectation of its fulfillment; to expect and desire.”

Well that’s cool but that doesn’t really tell me anything about building hope in my life.  Like so many things in this life, I’m reasonably certain that we can CHOOSE to hope and therefore we can re-enforce ourselves and build up hope in one another.  So how do we do that?  Is hope really so different from faith?  Here’s what Paul says about Hope in his letter to the Romans.

Against hope, with hope he believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what had been spoken: So will your descendants be. ~ 4:18

endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope does not disappoint, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. ~ 5:4-5

For the creation was subjected to futility —not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it —in the hope that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage of corruption into the glorious freedom of God’s children. … we also groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for adoption,  the redemption of our bodies. Now in this hope we were saved, yet hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see,  we eagerly wait for it with patience. ~ 8:20-25

Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer. ~ 12:12

For whatever was written before was written for our instruction, so that through our endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we may have hope. ~ 15:4

And again, Isaiah says: The root of Jesse will appear, the One who rises to rule the Gentiles; in Him the Gentiles will hope. ~15:12

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. ~15:13