"faith" is the emotional desire for a certain outcome, based upon "belief" that a certain principle is true. "belief" is the state in which one is somewhat, but no absolutely sure, of the truth of a particular principle. The believer hopes that what he/she "believes" to be true- is in fact true, but has some reservation. So, "faith" is inevitably of somewhat dubious "potency', and to one who does not recognize the definitions I have described - it is indeed a form of self-delusion. An alternative construct is: "trust" -which is the conviction that a certain outcome will result, based upon "knowledge" that a certain principle is true. "knowledge" is the unshakeable conviction of the reality of a situation/principle. So, "trusting' that an outcome will occur is a more stable psychological platform than "faith". It is more difficult to arrive at the stage where one can "trust" that a desired outcome will occur (because it depends upon having engaged in critical analysis), but ultimately it is a more settled psychology (and less delusional) than "faith".