Scripture contains many encouraging promises. To no small extent, Christians live on the promises of Scripture. The nice thing about a divine promise is that it connotes certainty. Something you can count on.
Then there's hope. That's more than a wish, but less than a promise. Sometimes a Christian must settle for hope. He'd prefer a promise, but the walk of faith has its share of uncertainties as well as certainties. You know the final destination, but you can't see around every bend in the road.
Some believers are so beaten down that all they can do is wish for the best. A wish is more than despair, but less than hope. They are too beleaguered, too disappointed, to feel hopeful.
At the opposite end of the spectrum is despair. That's a different kind of certainty: hopelessness. That's where faith sometimes bottoms out. Ultimately though, the desired outcome depends, not on the strength of our faith, but the strength of a faithful God.
Some unbelievers have false hope. And some unbelievers despair.
That's a different kind of despair. It never bottoms out, for there's no one to catch them. They just keep falling.