Ministry of Tears

Ministry of Tears

Stan Moody

Two things stand in the way of my studying eschatology, the theology of last things. The first is a personal, consuming struggle with the things of the now; the second is that if the Gospel is understandable to fools, theories of the when, where, how and why on the other side of this veil of tears may be beyond reach. One aspect stands out, however, and that is that there is a promise of relief from suffering.

While the suffering piece illudes us in the context of the middle-class American Dream of prosperity and success, the Bible makes clear that there is and will be suffering in this life. It is likely our duty as professing Christians, therefore, to minister to those laboring under physical, emotional and economic distress until that uncertain day when time shall be no more:

They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, not any hear; for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes (Rev. 7:16, 17).

What makes sense to me is that God permitted sin to come into the world in order to preserve free will, a gift enabling us to choose to love God. We blew it. Yet, the stage had been set for the perfect display of the greatness of His grace in the person and work of Jesus – a new, unconditional approach to His abiding love.

Christians suffer just like everyone else suffers, but it is different. Behind the tears lies hope. That is God’s ministry of tears to us, His children, and that is our ministry of tears to each other. Here is my take on the beauty of the ministry of tears:


  • The Ministry of tears is designed to keep this world from being too attractive to us – to keep us from loving the world and the things that are in the world.

  • The Ministry of Tears helps us to put our whole dependence on God. When you come up against the unexplainable and don’t have God, all you have left is fate.

  • The Ministry of Tears teaches us to turn things over to God sooner than later. We never seem to feel our dependence on God until we get into trouble. We call our financial planner, our banker, our broker, our creditor or our lawyer, and when we can’t get any help from them, we turn to God in the 11th hour. Why not sooner?

  • The Ministry of Tears shortens the time and intensity of grieving.

  • The Ministry of Tears brings us to the hope of seeing our loved ones again. That is the hope that cuts short the grieving through the Ministry of Tears.

There’s a story about an ancient battle between the Britons and the Saxons. The Saxons were all armed. The Britons had no weapons at all. History tells us that the Britons won. They went into battle shouting “Halleluiah,” and their enemies fled in panic. We have read these kinds of stories over and over again from the Old Testament, especially Gideon’s battle of 300 men against tens of thousands. God was in the trouble and wiped away their tears by demonstrating His hand in insurmountable odds.

Maybe there is a lot more room than we think for God to intervene early, before the situation gets out of hand, so that there will be few tears over our loss or, at least, the tears will not be paralyzing.

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