There are a multitude of reasons to shed tears. I have wept hot tears of sorrow as I held my baby girl as her life slowly ebbed away in the newborn intensive care unit. I have seen many weep at the loss of a relationship or a treasured family pet. On the other hand, it is genuinely a pleasure to laugh so hard that you cry! And who would fault someone for getting misty-eyed at a tender and moving scene like a wedding or the birth of a baby?
It is normal for us to weep, and it is part of our human nature. Even Jesus wept at the tomb of his friend Lazarus, even though He was about to raise him from the dead! (John 11:35) We are commanded to “weep with those who weep” and many times such weeping is more appreciated than words we could think to offer.
But tears are also a valuable addition to our individual ministry. As we pray for those with whom we share the Gospel, and weep over their lost condition, the Lord seems to use those tears to make the seeds of our prayers grow.
In Psalm 126 the psalmist wrote through inspiration, “Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them. (Psalm 126:5, 6 NIV)
In the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5, Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4 NIV) Could it be that this comfort will be obtained as that for which we have wept before the Lord comes to fruition?

Elsewhere in Scripture, weeping is associated with repentance. David wrote this in Psalm 30:5,
“For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” (Psalm 30:5 ESV)
This weeping, which Paul refers to as “godly sorrow”, is essential to our spiritual growth and progress. Paul explained it to the Corinthian Christians this way:
“As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter.” (2 Corinthians 7:9-11 ESV)
Furthermore, this godly sorrow gets God’s attention. It is often referred to in the Bible as “a broken and contrite heart.” Let’s take a look at Isaiah 66. Jehovah is speaking and lets His people know that He is in need of nothing, and there is no building they could erect that He would find impressive. But look in verse 2 and see what DOES cause God to turn and look.
“Thus says the Lord: ‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool;
what is the house that you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest?
All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be,
declares the Lord.
But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit
and trembles at my word.'” (Isaiah 66:1, 2 ESV)
Wow! Do you want to get God’s attention and have Him look with favor on you? Be humble, contrite in heart, and be in awe of His Word such that you tremble at the thought of the value of it!

But tears and crying will not always be with us. There will surely come a day when death and tears and crying will be no more. I mentioned briefly the passing of my infant daughter. She was only with us for eight hours, but I know that she is not gone away, but rather she has gone ahead. When she was buried we put the reference to this verse on her gravestone.
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4 ESV)
Speaking of eternity together with the Lord can be an abstract theological discussion. But all of that changes when you face reality and no safety net, and faith in the Everlasting arms is all you’ve got to stand on. But rest assured, the God who spoke the universe into existence and sent His only begotten Son to redeem us cannot lie, and what he has promised will surely come to pass.
Weeping may last the night, but there will most definitely be joy in that eternal morning!

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