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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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Deborah Herrera October 15, 2016 at 10:02 pm

Yesterday, I sat by my grandmother’s burial site as I prayed and cried to my Lord…giving Him thanks for allowing my grandmother to be my spiritual rock….. Out of nowhere a drop landed in the middle of my forehead. I stood up, looked around, and there was nothing that I could pin point where that drop came from. Then, my spirit told me that it came from the Heavens. I know my Lord is with me. Prayers needed.


Susan c January 10, 2017 at 11:00 am

That’s beautiful, thank you for sharing ❤


Julie Whyte September 30, 2017 at 8:32 pm

How wonderfully comforting and how blessed we are in our precious Lord and Saviour our Lord Jesus Christ that NOTHING goes un-noticed by Him, not even our tear drops.


Chris lane November 7, 2017 at 12:01 am

I finall gave up everything and I asked god to show me sim e kind of a sign that i could take a use to stop myself from ending mylife and Within a day I couldn’t stop crying and I looked up what would cause this and I came across this article I now wanna help others but I don’t know where to start I’m finall convinced god is real and I need to get my life together and I think by offering volunteer work is what I could to do help myself through helping others I hope


Michael January 1, 2018 at 9:32 am

Are you ok brother? You know, your name is my brothers name. My big brother. He is so special to me. Except the last name. Happy New Year too brother!


Elizabeth July 16, 2019 at 6:34 am

Hello! This message is super late but I just read your comment upon reading this article. I hope you are following Jesus, enjoying the work he has prepared for you, the peace of His payment at the cross, and finding that His strength is perfect in weakness or healed from whatever pains that led you to want to give up. My fiance struggled with depression & young onset parkinsons. God miraculously healed him of the parkinson’s disease but has still left some weakness with depression. Thankfully the moments are short and acute rather than chronic. Even when you’re tempted to go home to Him, remember laborers are needed here. God bless you and your work for His kingdom.


Terrie Kenoyer February 26, 2019 at 10:04 am

Being one of so many who suffer from daily chronic pain from Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Arthritis, and Migraines I often cry tears to let out the stress, discouragement, and sense of loss. But then when I spend time with the Lord in prayer and in His word He reminds me of His love. It is and will always be my hope and prayer that He uses my life just as it is to bring hope and encouragement to others. There is always a way to serve our loving Lord. He uses me in the card ministry for our church. I pray He will never stop using me for His glory.


Martha Newman June 1, 2019 at 6:12 am

Thank you Jesus for listening to me when I cry I love you with all my heart and soul


Clayborne paul bert January 21, 2020 at 4:20 pm

No matter what God can give to me neither challenges or gifts but in my faith .there will be always a my love for God because God loved us first. Even no matter what happened to me or to my brother and sisters is that always love God no matter what


Teri bianco Bianco August 21, 2020 at 8:58 am

Be strong and courageous, for the Lord your God goes with you where ever you go. We stand on every promise that God has given us in his word. Remember, your worse day WITH Jesus is better than your best day without him!


Tammy gero November 24, 2020 at 3:15 am

I recently lost my mom. She fell and died. My grief was so intensive that i couldnt go to her house… But one day i needed to use my stepfathers computer so i went there. I literally fell down on the floor and started weeping were my mom died my stepfather saw my pain he cried to but then his sister came in and told me to stop it and proceded to tell me about her deaths and that i should stop because hers were more important then mine. My stepdad stuck by his sister. It broke my heart but i. Decided to put my heart and love to jesus and god. I know now i will never be shushed in my time of sadnesd. For he will never betray me … Thank you ..and may your days be filled with love kindnesd and understandin


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