The Ministry Of Tears

“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth,
he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears
to the one who could save him from death,
and he was heard because of his reverent submission.”
Hebrews 5:7 (NIV)

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Some Christians think tears in the context of tragedy are a sign of spiritual weakness. Certain believers urge a new widow to dry their eyes and put on a smile to show they have a  strong faith, and that the Lord is giving them the needed grace to endure their loss.

Such talk is nonsense. The dry eyed new widow does not demonstrate a great faith but a numbed heart that is struggling to accept the new reality in her life. She is not wrong to be tearless. She is just in the very beginning stages of recognition of her new point of departure in life. Rest assured—the tears will come.

I have spoken before of the worth of tears in the Christian life. I even encourage tears in the right context. Jesus wept in various situations. He wept over impenitent Jerusalem (Luke 19:41). Jesus wept in the presence of death (John 11:35). Our verse today tells us that our Lord even wept in His times of prayer.

Those who claim to be followers of Jesus should examine their own ministry of tears to see if they are possibly dry eyed Christians. When we see the results of sin we ought to weep. Psalm 119:136 (NIV)

“Streams of tears flow from my eyes, for your law is not obeyed.”

Can we read the newspaper or watch the news on TV and stay dry eyed? If so we need to ask ourselves if we suffer from a hardened heart toward sin.

When we visit the bereaved in the funeral home are we dry eyed? Why do we not share the sorrow of those who mourn? Surely weeping with those who weep is to help bear their burden. Many of us have benefited from some saint weeping with us in our sorrow. Do we care enough to offer this ministry?

Are your prayers ever moistened with your tears? Do you go through the motions of prayer and remain stoic and hard of heart? God has respect for the prayers watered with tears. Let your emotions be  expressed in this manner and God will see how great is your desire for what you ask of Him.

John 11:35

“Jesus wept.”

Do you?

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