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TO CHEW ON: "Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy." Psalm 126:5
We could call the crying in this psalm the "ministry of tears" or "liquid prayer" (C. H. Spurgeon). In a sidebar article in my Bible, Dick Eastman has identified six aspects of the ministry of tears that are pictured in the Bible ("Tears and Brokenness in Victorious Warfare," New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 787):
1. Tears of sorrow or suffering:
King Hezekiah was at death's door. He pleaded with God for a longer life. God's answer:
" ' I have heard your prayer. I have seen your tears. Behold I am healing you…" - 2 Kings 20:5 (AMP).
2. Tears of joy:
Twin brothers Jacob and Esau had been estranged for years following Jacob's deceiving their father over the birthright. Now Jacob needed to pass through Esau's territory with his family and possessions. Did Esau still want to kill him? How would their meeting go? Jacob spent the night before, wrestling with a heavenly Being. In the morning they met this way:
"But Esau ran to meet him and embraced him, and hugged his neck and kissed him, and they wept [for joy]" - Genesis 33:4 (AMP).
3. Tears of compassion:
Jesus' friend Lazarus had died. As Jesus approached the home of his friend he was met by Mary and friends, all weeping. Even though he knew what He was going to do, in the moment Jesus was overcome by emotion—empathy, compassion:
"Jesus wept" - John 11:35.
4. Tears of desperation:
Haman had convinced King Ahasuerus that it was a good idea to wipe out the Jews. The reaction of Mordecai (Queen Esther's relative) and other Jews in Shushan and throughout the land:
"… He cried out with a loud and bitter cry … And in every province where the king's command and decree arrived, there was great mourning among the Jews with fasting, weeping and wailing" - Esther 4:1,3.
5. Tears of travail:
In Isaiah 42, the LORD promises to again provide help to His people. He describes the breakthrough as the the tears a mother cries when in the throes of labour pains:
"I have held My peace a long time. / I have been still and restrained Myself. / Now I will cry like a woman in labor" - Isaiah 42:14.
6. Tears of repentance:
Turning from our sin to God is often accompanied by tears:
"“Even now,” says the Lord,
“Turn and come to Me with all your heart [in genuine repentance],
With fasting and weeping and mourning [until every barrier is removed and the broken fellowship is restored]" - Joel 2:12 (AMP).
Whatever kind tears we are shedding right now, we know that God sees, cares, and takes notice. In our times of weeping, we are comforted, for:
"You number my wanderings;
Put my tears into Your bottle;
Are they not in Your book?
When I cry out to You,
Then my enemies will turn back;
This I know, because God is for me" - Psalm 56:8,9
PRAYER: Dear Father, help me in my times of weeping to turn to You for ultimate help.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked AMP are taken from the Amplified® Bible, Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)