I remember a song I used to love to listen to in my younger days. It was sung by Reggae singer Johnny Nash and it went like this:
Every night I wake up crying,
Tears on my pillow, pain in my heart,
You on my mind.
Everybody has cried at some time or the other. Some may cry often with their tears being visible, while others may cry only on the inside, with no visible sign of tears. A few men pride themselves by saying that they never cry!! A quote however says, ‘Less wars would be fought if men cried more often’!
The Bible talks a lot about tears. It tells us that the Lord Jesus wept publicly at the funeral of Lazarus (John 11:35), and that He also prayed with tears (Hebrews 5:7). Jesus also said, “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh” (Luke 6:21).
Personally, I shed tears very rarely, not because I’m an exceptionally strong man, but maybe because that’s the way I’m wired. However, at times of personal crisis and failure, I have cried silent tears inside me many, many times, that no one has seen. Thankfully, those tears have always drawn me closer to God. If therefore you feel today that no one sees your tears, be assured that God sees them!
Are you crying today? Are the tears flowing freely? If so, I pray this sermon will help you.
PROPOSITION – Keep your eyes on God through your tears.
‘Tear’ – A drop of salty liquid that flows from the eye, especially because of pain or sadness (Longman Dictionary)
Tears bring healing when we are surrounded by pain and sorrow. They also lubricate the eyes and help to wash away dust and other irritants. We are blessed by God with what are called ‘tear glands’ and ‘tear ducts’ which help in the production and removal of tears. I am told that if the tear ducts don’t function too well in someone, it could cause much discomfort and other complications.
Today, I would like to leave 4 thoughts centered around ‘tears’ that I pray will strengthen you. They are:
1) Keep your eyes on God when tears cloud your vision
Tears cloud our natural vision. Have you tried to read when your eyes are filled with tears, maybe after sneezing or coughing? It’s not easy. Similarly, our vision in life also gets blurred when we are filled with tears. In Psalm 6:7 David said, “My vision is blurred by grief” (NLT).
We also know that for some, ‘tears of joy’, especially after a big victory, can be dangerous and can cloud their vision if not handled properly, leading to pride. Others are experts at crying ‘tears of deception’, sometimes referred to as ‘crocodile tears’. Delilah is a classic example of someone who deceived Samson with her nagging, accompanied almost certainly with tears (Judges 16:15)!
Today, has your vision, your purpose, your goal or maybe even your character been clouded or blurred through your tears? If so, fix your eyes on the Lord Jesus who understands your situation better than anyone else. Let Him clear your vision and give you fresh sight or insight once again. However, one thing we need to be careful about in such circumstances is not to take hasty decisions purely on human wisdom. Wait for God to clear your vision and to give you His wisdom, which He will do, if you humbly ask Him (James 1:5).
In 2 Samuel 19:1-7, David wept over the death of His son turned enemy Absalom, so bitterly, that the men who fought so bravely to protect him from the armies of the same Absalom, were totally discouraged. David did not show adequate gratitude to them for risking their lives to ensure his safety and protect his throne. Let me quote on this from a Bible Commentary:
[David’s action entirely prevented him from taking a just and correct view of the crime of his rebel son…. In his sinful sorrow,…. David not only forgot altogether his duty to recover the affection of his people, but even allowed himself to be carried away into measures that could not contribute to the strengthening of his throne”].
David’s tears had clouded his vision and he reacted wrongly.
So, keep your eyes on God, through Jesus, when tears cloud your vision. Although your vision of Him may be unclear because of your trials, be assured that His eyes are firmly fixed on you. 1 Peter 3:12 says, “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayer”.
A quote I came across says, ‘Do you believe in the sun when it is hidden behind the clouds? Then doubt not the guidance of God when He seems to hide His face”.
2) Keep your eyes on God for healing through your tears
Are you in need of healing, physically or emotionally? Has it brought pain and tears to your eyes? Look to God for healing in Jesus’ name because He is our Healer (Exodus 15:26).
Hannah cried bitter tears because she was emotionally distraught without the blessing of a child (1 Samuel 1:10). To make it worse, her rival Peninnah consistently insulted her over this misfortune, adding to her sorrow (I Samuel 1:6-7). To rub salt into her wound further, her Pastor saw her praying in bitterness of soul and thought that she was drunk (1 Samuel 1:13-14)! Talk about being thrown ‘from the frying pan into the fire’! Only God could heal her and He did! As a result, the world was blessed with the powerful prophetic ministry of Samuel.
Maybe you are looking for healing through your tears that can bring reconciliation for a broken relationship? Remember how God healed the relationship between Joseph and his terrified brothers in the midst of tears (Genesis 45:1-2; 14-15)? He can do the same for you. Or is it that like Peter, you are looking for healing for some failure through tears of repentance (Matthew 26:75)? Once again, the Lord can bring the needed healing into your life as He did for Peter and for Joseph’s family.
If you are mourning the loss of a loved one, ask Jesus to flood your heart with His healing touch. Maybe you can write down your thoughts and memories of them through your tears. Reflect also of the joy of meeting them in Heaven one day.
Illustration – At the age of just 6 months, I became a chronic asthmatic. Most of what I remember from my childhood and youth is suffering, wheezing, Doctors, hospitals, drugs and injections. I also remember being deprived of many things enjoyed by my friends, due to my illness and related physical weakness. I didn’t have much hope for my future. In fact, many times when my horoscope was read by an astrologer (we were not believers then), and when he looked at my stars to predict my future, I SAW STARS, because I was always supposedly under a period of ‘bad luck’. And, then I met Jesus!!! Not only did He save me marvelously, but He also healed me of my chronic asthma and broke the influence of horoscopes over my family. Praise His Name!
Someone said, ‘If God numbers our hair, will He also not number our tears’? Therefore, let’s pray to God like David, “Turn and answer me, O Lord my God! Restore the sparkle to my eyes… (Psalm 13:3 NLT)
3) Keep your eyes on God when sowing in tears
Most people know what it is like to work and labor in their careers without much visible success. We may wonder when a positive change will happen. We read the success stories of others and wonder how success seems to have passed us by. God sees your tears as you sow faithfully.
Maybe you are in ministry and the results have been slow in coming. Let me encourage you not to give up doing what you are doing for the Lord and not to give up crying for souls and for laborers in your community (Matthew 9:37). Success in ministry should never be valued purely by numbers! God will bring the harvest he has prepared at the appointed time, and reward your faithfulness with fruitfulness (1 Corinthians 3:7). Psalm 126:5 NLT says, “Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy”. Your tears will be the seed for the rewards and results He will bring. In the prophetic word of Jeremiah 31:16 the Lord says, “Do not weep any longer, for I will reward you”. So, keep trusting God for the results.
A man of God said, ‘If we don’t sow in tears, souls will die in tears’!
Illustration – The book ‘Revival and the Church’, identifies William Burns of Scotland and the revival in that country as follows. ‘As a young man of 23, he had read the scriptures on his knees, pleaded on his knees and believed on his knees. All Scotland heard the news that the sky was no longer brass. The windows of heaven were opened”.
4) Keep your eyes on God because He will permanently wipe away your tears
Revelation 7:17 and 21:4 gives us the promise that God will someday wipe away all our tears. Therefore, let’s always accept God’s answers as what is best for us since He is preparing us for the day when He will remove all our tears permanently. Job accepted his trials in that spirit and was greatly blessed. The day is coming when tears will be a thing of the past.
CLOSING – Let me close with 2 scriptures and the words of a Gospel song.
The first scripture, Psalm 30:5b says, “…Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning” (NLT). That morn will surely dawn!
Along the same lines the Gaither family wrote the song that said,
Hold on my child, joy comes in the morning,
Weeping only lasts for the night,
Hold on my child, joy comes in the morning,
The darkest hour means dawn is just in sight.
Let us therefore find victory through our tears, by ‘Keeping our eyes on Jesus, the Champion who initiates and perfects our faith” (Hebrews 12:2 NLT).
Many blessings to you through your tears!!