Old English hopian "have the theological virtue of Hope; hope for (salvation, mercy), trust in (God's word)," also "to have trust, have confidence; assume confidently or trust" (that something is or will be so), a word of unknown origin. Not the usual Germanic term for this, but in use in North Sea Germanic languages (cognates: Old Frisian hopia, Middle Low German, Middle Dutch, Dutch hopen; Middle High German hoffen "to hope," which is borrowed from Low German).
From early 13c. as "to wish for" (something), "desire." Related: Hoped; hoping. To hope against hope (1610s) "hold to hope in the absence of any justification for hope" echoes Romans iv.18:
Who against hope, beleeued in hope, that hee might become the father of many nations: according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seede bee. [King James Version, 1611]
The Wycliffite Bible (c. 1384) has this as "Abraham agens hope bileuede that he schulde be maad fadir of manye folkis."
late Old English hopa "confidence in the future," especially "God or Christ as a basis for hope," from hope (v.). From c. 1200 as "expectation of something desired;" also "trust, confidence; wishful desire;" late 14c. as "thing hoped for," also "grounds or basis for hope." Personified since c. 1300. Related: Hopes.
Compare Old Frisian and Middle Dutch hope, Danish haab, Dutch hoop, all from their respective verbs. For forlorn hope, see forlorn.