Wishing vs. Hoping

The 1964 classic song lyrics from Wishin & Hopin by Dusty Springfield say, “Wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin’, Plannin’ and dreamin’ each night of his charms, That won’t get you into his arms…”

So is there a distinction between wishing and hoping?

Wishing is feeling or expressing a strong desire for something that is not easily attainable. It’s like wishing to win the lottery but you don’t buy a ticket.

Hoping is to look forward with desire and reasonable confidence that something can happen. You can hope that you win the lottery because you have purchased a ticket.

Dusty Springfield continues in her song, Wishin & Hopin, “…So if you’re thinkin’ how great true love is, All you gotta do is, Hold him and kiss him and squeeze him and love him, Yeah, just do it and after you do, you will be his…” My conclusion is that the differing factors between wishing and hoping are the process of looking forward and taking action which can entirely change the course of your circumstances!

I had never considered the distinction between wishing and hoping until I attended the Helping Small Towns Succeed Conference. I attended a breakout session to explain and foster the trait of hope for community leadership. From the presenter’s research it appears that followers of community leaders want two things 1) stability in the moment; and 2) hope for the future. But unfortunately, the vast majority of community leaders do not spend enough time creating hope.

Think about it: growth is all about looking forward. A sapling becomes a mighty oak by growing slowly over time. An infant grows into a child, who eventually becomes an adult. Hope is the same way. It looks forward. When we have hope, we can create a vision and takes steps toward a better future for ourselves and our communities, not just wishing for things that could be.

Planting the seed of hope requires a change in mindset; leaders who believe community growth is possible and commit to pursuing it. The change in focus from wishing to hoping is only the first step. This movement begins a cycle of growth, increased hope, more growth, leading to contagious hope. Because when hope rises in our communities―everything changes.

Assessing Your Own Current Level of HOPE

Directions: Read each item carefully. Give yourself a score of 1-5 points based on the following: Strongly Disagree (1 point); Disagree (2 points); Neutral (3 points); Agree (4 points); Strongly Agree (5 points)

  1. My future will be better than the present. ___ points
  2. I have the power to make my future better. ___ points
  3. I am excited about at least one thing in my future. ___ points
  4. I see many paths to my goals. ___ points
  5. The paths to my important goals are free of obstacles. ___ points

Score Questions 1-5 is your HOPE score. TOTAL ____

  1. My present life circumstances are the only determinants of my future. ___ points
  2. My past accomplishments are the only determinants of my future. ___ points

Score Questions 6-7 is your READINESS to HOPE score. TOTAL ___

  1. I make others feel excited about the future. ___ points
  2. I spread hope through modeling or support of others. ___ points
  3. I spread hope through the way I live my life. ___ points

Score Question 8-10 is your HOPE CONTAGION score. TOTAL ___


Analyze your current level of HOPE

Questions 1-5 is your HOPE score (ranging from 5 -25).

  • 5-15, it will take hard work and much practice to raise your score.
  • 16-20, hope is an asset to you every day, but there are many strategies that can help you increase your hopefulness.
  • 21+, you are a high-hope person whose thinking about the future is an asset.

Questions 6-7 is your READINESS to HOPE score (ranging from 2-10). The higher your score, the more you believe that your future is dominated by your past and present circumstances, and the less room you have for hope. Learn to expand your sense of personal freedom without denying the realistic constraints we all face.

Question 8-10 is your HOPE CONTAGION score (ranging from 3-15). If you scored above 12, you are a model for others and consciously boost the hope of those around you. A low score suggests that you would benefit from seeking out the support and companionship of high-hope people in your daily life.

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Pick a Promise | There are 30,000 to Choose From

Did you know that there are approximately 30,000 promises in the Bible? But, which of those promises could help strengthen your marriage?

The purpose of your wedding day is promises — vows that you will make to each other and to God. Your life will never be the same after you make those promises to each other. You are choosing to tell your future partner that you love them and would like to be with them forever, that you are promising to give yourself to them, no matter what the future holds.

You’re going to promise to stick with your partner in good times, but also in the hard times, in times of health and times of sickness, in times of plenty and in times of want. You’re going to be there with them no matter what season of life you are in — a newlywed and there is not enough money, or you want to have a baby and you can’t, or you have a baby and the child has a difficulty, or you are raising a teen, or you are fearful that your child is getting ready to marry the wrong person, or your parents’ health is declining, or you are going to have to make a serious career change — whatever is going on in your lives the promises take you through.

Some of us have had the privilege of growing up in families where marriage promises were made as life-long commitments. The generations before us worked hard to keep their promises and whether we know it or not our lives have been profoundly affected by those who made promises and then chose to keep them.

Those marriage promises made generations before us were also fully covered by all of God’s 30,000 biblical promises – encompassing one main promise to us all — God will act on our behalf, be by our side, and never leave us alone. That’s what our Christian faith is built on – God’s faithfulness to keeping all His promises to us and in return we keep our promises to others with God’s guidance.

On your wedding day, you promise to always be by your partner’s side. In the years that follow, you will have the opportunity to glorify God and reflect His character by being rock-solid faithful to your marriage promise. There will be times when that promise is hard to keep, when times are tough or mistakes are painful. What you decide to do in those challenging times will determine who you become and what your marriage will be like.

My marriage prayer for you is that your faith in God continues to grow and that your marriage is filled with joy — joy in sharing your life, joy in being loved, joy in caring for others, and the greatest joy in reflecting God’s character as you promise to love your partner unconditionally; standing with them no matter what life may bring you. 

Just a few biblical promises to keep you on track…

  • My grace is sufficient for you. 2 Corinthians 12:9
  • Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
  • “For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
  • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
  • If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5
  • Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our affliction. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
  • Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you Psalm 9:10
  • My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19