"I hope it works out for you", "I hope you find what you're looking for", "I hope it turns out not to be as bad as you think."
A lot of the time when we hear or use phrases like these they're actually loaded with hopelessness. Even though our hearts can be in the right place when we say them, they often form a significant part of our response to situations where it seems that there's very little to hope for. While there's something to be said for aspirational affirmations – vocalising what we we're working towards, it's also fitting that out of hopelessness comes hope – even if it does need some work.
Authentic hope requires us to do more than just say the word in a bid to make ourselves or others feel better. If we want to genuinely "hope" for something, we need to understand what that means. Here are some Bible verses that can help.
Psalm 3:2-6 - Many are saying of me, "God will not deliver him." But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 - Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Romans 15:13 - May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 8:24-25 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
Mark 5:35-36 - While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. "Your daughter is dead," they said. "Why bother the teacher anymore?" Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, "Don't be afraid; just believe."
Hebrews 11:1 - Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
Job 11:18-19 - You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety. You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid, and many will court your favour.
Psalm 147:11 - The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.