What Does the Bible Say About Crying and Tears?

by Crystal McDowell · Print Print · Email Email

Crying comes easy for some people. They cry when they are happy or sad. While some of us only cry when we are deeply moved. We are created with the ability to cry not only as an expression for our emotions, but also as an opportunity to release pent up feelings. Sometimes people who struggle with those who cry or have difficulty crying see it as an element of weakness. However the Bible is filled stories and an accounts of the strongest people of faith crying out to God in their day of trouble. What Does the Bible Say About Crying and Tears

Tears are a part of life

“A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance” (Ecclesiastes 3:4).

Just as we sometimes laugh out loud, we must also cry out loud. We live in a fallen world where there is much to cry about—death, loss, disappointment. Sometimes we must cry as the only available emotional response in a situation. Those who resist their urge to cry will many times bring on themselves serious emotional and mental health issues. However those who accept it as a part of life will often find themselves refreshed and restored after a time of tears. 

Tears doesn’t last a lifetime

“For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).

Just as there is a time to cry—there is a time to stop crying. We don’t grieve and weep as those in the world because we have a hope within through the presence of the Holy Spirit. He beckons us to weep when necessary, but to also wipe our faces and move forward in the faith. We rejoice even in our times of mourning because we know that our Lord is in control and making all things work together for our good. 

Tears are noticed by God

“The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry” (Psalm 34:15)

Many of us cry in secret and have rarely let others witness our tears. Sometimes that’s necessary when we are in positions of authority and need to keep it together for those who follow after us. Yet the Lord sees our secret tears and He knows our pain. Our Father isn’t aloof and cold, but rather He’s there with us in the gut-retching cries that translate to Him our needs and desires.

What Does the Bible Say About Crying and Tears?

What Does the Bible Say About Crying and Tears?

Tears will be a part of the punishment of the unbelievers

“There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out” (Luke 13:28).

It’s hard to even imagine the incredible weeping and tears that will be present at the white throne judgment. These people will remember the moments that the Holy Spirit compelled their hearts to surrender to God and yet they resisted. They will know in that moment that there is no turning back the hands of time. This weeping and regret will last throughout eternity—a grievous affair for the unbelievers.

Tears were shed by Jesus

“When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled…Jesus wept” (John 11:33, 35).

Our Lord was all God and man—feeling the emotions of sadness from the perspective of humanity and also the cry of Deity for all people to turn away from sin. When Jesus wept the crowd around Him remarked on His love for Lazarus. Yet it was when Jesus saw the agony of those He loved—He was troubled in His Spirit. He responded with tears just as any one of us would do when we see the broken hearts of those we love. He weeps with us.

Tears of the godly will be eventually wiped away forever

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

Because we are surrounded by pain and sorrow, it can be difficult for us to believe that we will one day never cry again. The Lord has prepared a place for those who are His where there will never be sorrow nor mourning. It will be a place of everlasting joy and happiness. We will not miss tears or crying. There will be no need of it because we will enjoy His presence forever.

“Put my tears in Your bottle” (Psalm 56:8, NASB) 

Every time we cry—our Savior collects our tears and remembers. There are no wasted tears for those who put their trust in God. He allows us to cry out to Him so that we can know His presence of peace in the midst of confusion and difficulty. We must cry in faith and not despair so that our hearts can be made whole in Him.

Something else to read: 20 Comforting Bible Verses for Grief and Grieving

Resource – New International Version Bible, The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblca, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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