“And God will wipe away all tears from their eyes. And there will be no more death, nor mourning, nor crying out, nor will there be any more pain; for the first things passed away” Revelation 21:4.
Tonight I would like to speak to you about a subject that is not really very pleasant, and yet has a very definite ministry in our lives. I want us to consider “Tears“.
The Bible has a great deal to say about tears. In it we see infants weeping, strong men weeping, women weeping, and on occasion we even find the Savior shedding tears. The first time we find tears mentioned is when King Hezekiah had been informed by the Prophet Isaiah that he was sick and would soon die. Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and sobs out to the Lord in his plea for life (2 Kings 20:1-6).
The last mention of tears is found at the end of the Bible in Revelation 21:4 (above) where we find this wonderful promise, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”
Between these two references we find that God is a great tear-drier. He is a tender Father wiping away the tears of His erring children until one day there will be no more tears!
Everyone of us have shed tears at some time or another and the great majority have shed many, many tears.
The shedding of tears is a peculiarly unique human method of expressing emotions, such as sorrow, pain, despair and disappointment. Man is the only created being who can laugh, and he is the only one who can shed tears in the sense of expressing emotions.
I. What are tears?
- The chemist will tell us that a tear is a solution of sodium chloride and calcium along with a few other chemicals to make up the solution.
- The physiologists will tell us that a tear is the lubricating fluid of the eyeball secreted from glands and poured over the eyes to keep them from becoming dry.
- Some would tell us that tears are a sign of human weakness and cowardice.
- Tears are the distillation of the soul!
- Tears have far more to do with the soul than they do with the body.
- More tears are shed from the pain that cuts the soul than those that afflict the body.
- Tears are the concentrated extract of human sorrow.
II. Note some Bible tears
- Tears of Joy.
- Genesis 45:15.
- These are the tears which were shed by Joseph when reunited with his brothers in Egypt.
- In viewing the return of the men and women who fought the Gulf War we saw many tears of joy as families were reunited.
- More recently we have observed these tears in the release of the hostages who had been held in Lebanon.
- I believe there will be many tears shed when we are reunited with our Savior and with our loved ones who have gone on before, but God will wipe away our tears.
- Tears of Gratitude.
- Tears which flow from thankful hearts.
- In Luke 7:37-38 we have the account of a woman who wept such tears as to wash the Savior’s feet with them.
- Tears of gratitude to the Savior who had lifted her from the miry pits of sin and set her feet on the Rock of Ages!
- Oh how we need to weep tears of gratitude for all that God has done for us!
- Tears of Regret.
- How often we shed tears of regret for what we have said or what we have done, or perhaps for what we should have said or done.
- Matthew 26:75 records that after Peter had denied Christ for the third time, the cock crowed and Peter went out and wept bitterly.
- Mark’s account adds that “when he thought thereon he wept.” cf Mark 14:72.
- Tears of regret are always bitter tears. note: Psalm 6:6.
- The only relief from such is repentance and forgiveness from God.
- Tears of Compassion.
- These are the tears that our Lord shed over Jerusalem in Luke 19:41.
- At the tomb of Lazarus in John 11:35.
- “These are the tears that we are to have for the lost and dying world!” cf. Psalm 126:6.
- “Weep o’er the erring one, lift up the fallen, tell them of Jesus the mighty to save” …Fanny Crosby
- Tears of Hell.
- In describing the pain and agony of those who will be cast into hell Jesus said, “There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” cf. Matthew 8:12.
- The rich man in Hell, being in torments cried to Abraham.
- There will be no one to console those who wake up in Hell…their weeping will go on for eternity!
III. The Ministry of Tears.
- Tears make us willing to leave this world.
- If there were no trouble or sorrow and no tears in this world we would be perfectly content to remain here forever.
- Sorrow and tears reminds us of the judgment of God upon sin, that He has redeemed us, and has prepared a place for us where He will wipe away all tears!
- So often I have seen this in those who have struggled so for many years through many tears.
- There is a willing release of their grip on this world and a longing for heaven.
- Tears make us recognize our dependence on God
- Many folks who cannot see God in the sunshine will focus on Him through tears.
- Many are so proud and think that they are in control of their own destinies until some trial or tragedy comes and blurs their eyes with tears.
- It is only then that they can begin to see clearly!
- Tears teach us the importance of sympathy and comfort.
- Note: 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.
- When we hurt we long to be consoled by someone who understands.
- God has given us the ministry of comfort to come alongside someone who is hurting and share the comfort God with them.
Much more could be said of tears, but the only thing I want to add is this. There are far too few of them around here. Maybe we have bought into the lie of the devil ‘that we ought not get emotional at church’. I am not promoting empty emotionalism, but I believe that we need to spend more time weeping before God!
Tears of joy over His blessings, tears of gratitude for what He has done for us! Tears of burdened hearts for those who are without Christ. Tears of intercession for those who are backslidden and are out of fellowship with God!
David believed that his tears were important to God. “Thou tellest my wanderings; put thou my tears into thy bottle; are they not in thy book?” (Psalm 56:8). How many tears do we shed?
Come tonight and spend some time with the Lord. If you are not a Christian, come tonight and be saved! Whatever the need I invite you to come.
God bless you,
by: PRISCILLA VAN SUTPHIN of Upstream Ministries, California www.upstreamca.org www.blogtalkradio.com/Upstream Email: goinupstream @hotmail.com Donate to Upstream: via secure paypal by sending as gift to goininupstream @hotmail.com Or send to Upstream, PMB 545, 14311 Newport Blvd, Suite G, Tustin, CA 9278