James Smith in Chapel

Today James (or Jamie) Smith spoke in Chapel and talked about doubt. His message echoed my feelings on the subject, which is perhaps why I liked it so much. One of his points, as he made quite a few of them, was that when we doubt because of a tragedy, or a “dark Saturday” situation as he called it (referring to the Saturday on which Jesus rested in the tomb), then our doubt is there because of faith. The reason we doubt in situations like that, or have trouble believing, is because that situation does not fit who we know God is, and to that God says “yes” to your doubt. It is because we have accepted the promises of a good God that we cannot accept the times when those promises seem to be contradicted. Imagine you are one of Jesus’ disciples, and you have dedicated your life to following this Rabbi who makes bold claims about what God is going to do through him and through you. You have accepted his claims and his promises and the next thing you expect is nothing less than for him to save his people and make Israel a great nation again. But what happens? He is arrested, hung on a cross, and stabbed through the side. Can you imagine the doubt you’d feel on that dark Saturday when your circumstances do not match your faith. Do you blame Thomas for his difficulty in believing?

It is precisely out of faith that we go through seasons of doubt. Instead of seeing doubt as an antithesis of faith, perhaps we should see it as a companion to faith. What quality would our faith be if we did not have trouble with the brokenness of the world? What is our faith if we do not feel a sense of doubt when Jesus seems to be defeated? Perhaps we should allow ourselves to hang in the balance, every once in a while, between doubt and faith. Because, in the end, it is in our fear and in our doubt that the risen Christ comes to us and invites us to touch his scars.

Click here to watch.