6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: This sermon is to give hope to Christians and to remember that God is with them in their Disappointments, Disillusion, Distress, and Destitution



OCTOBER 7, 2001

The Bible is one place where it is certainly not the case that big boys never cry. Wherever in the Bible we find depth of feeling, in close relationships, in intercession, in repentance and in serving God, there tears and weeping are likely to be expressed

In the Old Testament, there are many references to:

- Weeping all night [Psalm 6:6]

- The tears of the oppressed [Ecclesiastes 4:1]

- Tears of disgrace [Isaiah 25:8]

- Tears of longing in exile, by the rivers of Babylon [Psalm 137:1]

S As to individuals who wept, we find a biblical WHO’S WHO in the following:

- Esau wept in his rivalry with Jacob [Genesis 27:38]

- Jacob wept with Esau in a wary reconciliation [Genesis 33:4]

- Jacob wept at the presumed death of his son Joseph [Genesis 37:35]

- When Joseph was preparing to reveal his true identity to his brothers, he wept so loudly that it became a talking point among the Egyptians [Genesis 45:2]

- Joseph also wept with his brothers [Genesis 45:1415]

- When Jacob finally arrived in Egypt, Joseph threw his arms around his father and "wept for a long time" [Genesis 46:29]

- Joseph wept over Jacob’s corpse and wept again over his father’s last request to forgive his brothers fully [Genesis 50:1,17]

- Ruth and Naomi wept together [Ruth 1:9]

- Hannah wept as she longed for a child [1 Samuel 1:7]

- Saul, the first king of Israel, wept [1Samuel 24:16]

- David and Jonathan also wept [1 Samuel 20: 41]

- David’s army wept aloud all day long until they had no strength left within them [1 Samuel 30:4]

In the New Testament, there are also plenty of tears

- Jesus wept at Lazarus’ tomb [John 11:35]

- Jesus wept over Jerusalem [Luke 19:41]

- Jesus prayed with loud cries and tears concerning His crucifixion [Hebrews 5:7]

- A prostitute wiped Jesus’ feet with her tears [Luke 7:38]

- Peter wept bitterly after his threefold denial of Christ [Matthew 26:75]

Paul also knew the place and value of tears

- He described his ministry as serving the Lord with great humility and tears [Acts 20:19]

- He continually warned with tears against false teachers [Acts 20:31]

- He wrote a stiff letter to the Corinthian church, with great distress, anguish of heart and many tears [2 Corinthians 2:4]

- With tears, he wrote to the Philippians of those who live as enemies of the Cross [Philippians 3:18]

- The Ephesians’ elders wept as they embraced Paul before his departure from their region [Acts 20:37]

- When Paul wrote to Timothy he remembered with fondness Timothy’s tears at their last meeting [2 Timothy 1:4]

Tears are also a sign of revival of faith in Israel

- Jeremiah foretold of a time when the people would seek the Lord with tears [Jeremiah 50:4]

- Joel called the people to renew a right walk with God [Joel 2:12]

If you want to know a person’s character, find out what makes him laugh and what makes him weep. What we laugh at and what we weep over indicate our values of life, and values are a part of maturity

Little children will laugh at things that seem stupid to us, and they will cry over matters that seem trivial to us. The higher you go in life, the more vulnerable you are to sorrow. You can escape sorrow if you wish to, simply by isolating yourself from other people and from the affairs of life; but at the same time you will also be escaping joy. For the higher you go in the scale of life, the greater the opportunities for joy; and the same things that cause joy can also cause sorrow

Whenever you enter into the experience of joy, you make yourself a candidate for sorrow. A young couple that marries experiences joys; but suppose she comes down with a terminal illness, or suppose he is hopelessly crippled in an accident? A couple can bring children into the world, and children are a joy; but suppose one of them develops leukemia and dies? Just about everything in life that brings joy can also be a source of sorrow; and the only way to escape that sorrow is to run away from life

Jesus never tried to escape the sorrows of life. Nor did He deny that they existed. He transformed them. Jesus did not tell His disciples to go out and look for sorrow; but He did tell them that He was able to transform their tears and bring them comfort. Of itself, sorrow never makes a person better. I have seen it make people bitter. But sorrow plus Jesus Christ can bring a transforming experience of power into the life of the one who is mourning

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