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  • Rick LoPresti

The value of tears


The word tears appears 36 times in the Bible. These verses show us at least 5 purposes for tears:

1. Repentance (Luke 7:38 & 44, Hebrews 12:17)

2. Sorrow from God (Psalm 80:5)

3. Mourning (Isaiah 16:9, Jeremiah 9:1 & 18, Jeremiah 13:17, Jeremiah 14:17, Lamentations 1:2,

Lamentations 2:11 & 18, 2Corinthians 2:4)

4. Difficult prayer (2Kings 20:5, Job 16:20, Psalm 6:6, Psalm 39:12,

Mark 9:24, Acts 20:19, Hebrews 5:7)

5. Suffering (Psalm 42:3, Ecclesiastes 4:1, 2Timothy 1:4)

God values our tears (Psalm 56:8, Psalm 126:5, Isaiah 25:8, Isaiah 38:5, Jeremiah 31:16, Revelation 7:17, Revelation 21:4). He initiates all these reasons for tears. He initiates repentance (Matthew 9:13, Acts 5:31, Acts 11:18, Romans 2:4, 2Corinthians 7:10, 2Timothy 2:25, 2Peter 3:9). It is His Spirit that helps us to pray (Romans 8:26-27, Jude 20). Some people misunderstand the compassion of the Lord and think it should keep us from tears; but sometimes it actually leads us to them. We will all face difficulty. We choose whether we face it alone or with Him. We choose whether our tears are shed with meaning or in vanity. When our tears are shed before God, we may not have to shed them elsewhere. When my wife and I learned our youngest son would need brain surgery at 5 years old, we shed tears at an altar before God. They were not tears of allegation or complaint against God. They were tears of love for our son in earnest prayer. While we were in the waiting room during the surgery, I was expecting to be very nervous and battling fear. Instead, I found there was strength, confidence, and peace in the presence of God which was with us there. Although we still had to go through much, God was with us, and 4 years later we experienced an instantaneous miracle wherein his symptoms disappeared during a church service. God saw our tears, and although the answer did not come immediately, it did come. Our son is now a straight A senior in high school who is very athletic, and best of all he loves God. Do not be afraid to shed your tears before God. He will value and answer them in His way in His time. Ask Hannah (1Samuel 1). Ask anyone who has put their faith in Him. To you men - crying before God in prayer is a very masculine thing to do.


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