revjoaquinwillisweb.gifThis election brings to reality the hopes and dreams of many.  Our country is on the verge of getting past racism, of voters having a choice beyond “the lesser of two evils.” 

Many of us grew up seeing the harm inflicted by racism and hatred.  As adults, we are now seeing the possibility that Dr. King’s dream for America will come true.  But many Americans remain depressed by the past, and continue to ignore their civic duties.      

Childhood, often the best part of our lives, is, for others, something that must be overcome.  To put something behind us, we must move forward.  In today’s climate of renewed hope, we expect to see massive early voting and Election Day turnouts.      

Did you know that hope has an anatomy? It has a backbone, a heart, and a face. I Corinthians 13:13 gives us this construct, “when all is said and done, these three remain: faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love.” 

Faith is the sturdy structure of hope.  Trustful compassion is the heart of hope. Love of God is the beautiful reflective face of hope.   

Beth Moore, in Believing God says, “Faith and love are inseparable housemates that offer hospitality to hope. When we lose our faith to love, we lose the energy to love. Then we lose our hope.”

Moore also says,  “If you truly become a person who makes a lifestyle of believing God, you will become bolder in your love for others and what you’re willing to believe God for in your life.” 

In the New International Version of Hebrews 11:1, we find that “faith is being sure (or certain) of what we hope for.” Being sure and certain are critical concepts.  The sureness of believing in God’s character, that “He is who He says He is,” is strengthened by the certainty that “He will do what He says He will do.”  When we believe God will keep His promises, we show true faith.

We all lose faith at times, and question the promises of God.  In Genesis 48:11, Jacob said to Joseph, his lost son, “I never expected to see your face again, and now God has allowed me to see your children too.”

Joseph had been sold into slavery in Egypt by his brothers, and was given to an Egyptian woman Asenath, to be her husband.  Genesis 48:10 tells us that, “Israel (Jacob’s) eyes due to old age were failing him,” and that Jacob was unable to make any distinction between his two grandsons (one of Egyptian blood), and  blessed them both, showing God’s multi-racial love. 

We show a love of others not by becoming a deity to them, but by fueling their faith in God.  Many have implied that Sen. Barack Obama has a “False Christ Syndrome.”  Through
Obama’s “audacity to hope,” God has used Obama to inspire in others the hope for a better nation, for Americans of all faiths and colors.   

Our hope should be built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.  In Christ we have a spiritual backbone of faith, trustful compassion, and a reflection of God’s love that is the true Substance of Hope.

The Rev. Dr. R. Joaquin Willis is pastor of the Church of the Open Door at 6001 NW 8th Ave., Miami.  To contact the church, call 305-759-0373 or email the pastor at