Kelly offers Four Features of Hope, and I think they are important.
1. Hope differs from optimism
Optimism is the idea of being “happy enough” with the system. It isn’t bad, but an emotion expressing the facility to get by in a positive manner. It wants prediction.
2. Hope operates in a world of meaning and values.
Optimism doesn’t have a moral obligation. Hope differs by having a “conscience and an intelligence that mere optimism lacks.”
Hope sees future life as promise and not just the same mundane “getting by”. Hope knows about and expects ultimate good, divine good. It changes our value system to one that understands completeness.
3. Hope focuses on what is truly important in terms of personal fulfillment.
Hope knows that we need more than just daily bread, but it looks to a life that humanity will be able to function at its highest degree. It is bigger than imagination, and recognizes that we have eternal value.
4. Hope is not mere wishing for something more.
Hope means knowledge. It is a way of life. It inspires action. In “engenders a deep moral sense and points in the direction of a more passionate self-involvement in the making of the world.
Hope involves others, If you have hope, you give it to others.
I often wonder how I have forgotten hope, and how I haven't expressed it in the various ministry arenas I have served in or simply in endeavors in life. Just yesterday I spoke with someone about how things just seem impossible these days, and how the apocalypticism that is purported through the media (and the History Channel's Apocalypse Week) just makes them want to give up. After that conversation these characteristics are important.
Glory be to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit;
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be