May I ask you a question? When was the last time you were brought to tears? You know what I’m writing about. I mean those times when you received sobering news about a loved one’s condition or simply when rotten consequences of your own choices came crashing down all around you. Scared, shocked or frightened by either sad news about others or by your own troubles, you cried. That is, we cried—for each of us has been there. If that salty fluid has filled and glistened your eyes or crept down your cheeks or touched your lips with its salty savor, then please relax and read on, for you are not alone.
Tears are part and parcel of the human condition. In describing life’s seasons, Solomon poignantly shared with all of us in Ecclesiastes 3:4 Ecclesiastes 3:4A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
American King James Version×that there is “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” Since the time of Eden, since the beginning, the history of humanity has been a “trail of tears.” In fact, the Bible can be called, along with its many other titles, a “book of tears.” It is after all the divine diary of all shed tears—not merely man-made tears, but tears shed by God.
God will wipe away every tear
But the good news is that your Bible reveals an incredible prophetic promise about a future time when things will be dramatically different from anything that exists now or ever has. It is a promise from our heavenly Father that ultimately must become more real than any human premise that touches us—be it past, present or future.
Let’s read together what God would have us understand, embrace and internalize. Yes, we need to internalize it so deeply, in the safe place of our hearts, that no one, not even we ourselves, can rob us of such a wonderful truth. God clearly brings His future to us and vividly describes in Revelation 21:3-4 Revelation 21:3-4 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
American King James Version×when a loud voice from heaven will say, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
Understand that this isn’t simply pretty biblical prose set in apocalyptic metaphor to comfort us when we are down-and-out or simply “done in” with our human moments. This set of verses is speaking to the transformation of the human realm, as mankind has experienced it, into God’s realm, His Kingdom. This isn’t simply a calming of frayed nerves or some surgical procedure to remove our tear ducts. It is the inauguration of the fullness of the Kingdom of God. It is God’s future that He is inviting us to—if only we can see through our human tears. And, when this does occur, it will be greatly welcomed.
This present age of tears
But before we can fully appreciate this “New Age of No More Tears,” we must first understand this present world of tears. I’m talking about emotional tears that affect the health of our bodies and affect other human beings. Think for a moment about the different types of tears in our human experience.
Some of us have shed angry tears or tears of disappointment with ourselves. Such tears spill forth from the corners of our eyes. They often come unexpectedly and at the most embarrassing moments. They surprise us, for they unmask who we really are to others and ourselves. Such tears flow from that inner vault of our well-protected ego—the spot where we plant the “no trespassing” sign!
Why? Because we don’t want people to know who we really are, and perhaps most importantly, we don’t want to comprehend who we really are! The disciple known as Peter shed such tears when he had to confront himself. Luke 22:61-62 Luke 22:61-62 61 And the Lord turned, and looked on Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, Before the cock crow, you shall deny me thrice.
62 And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.
American King James Version×explains how “the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.’ So Peter went out and wept bitterly.”
Earlier, he had proudly said he would never deny Christ, but his fear and anger got the best of him. Perhaps such tears sound familiar or perhaps we are yet to shed such tears, because we refuse to see ourselves as others see us, or most importantly, as God sees us. There comes a time when everyone with whom God is working must see himself or herself.
Some of us have shed tears of humiliation. These tears often come to us when we are alone and feel abandoned. We beat ourselves up over matters that sometimes we can’t even audibly explain to others, much less to ourselves. The well runs deep with such tears—all the way to the very pits of our stomachs—and we can feel it.
Perhaps we, too, have cried alongside the woman mentioned in Luke 7:36-37 Luke 7:36-37 36 And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat.
37 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,
American King James Version×. She is described as the “woman in the city who was a sinner.” Most commentaries will tell you that she was most likely a prostitute. And that was why there was such an uproar from the “religious crowd” looking on as “she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head” (verse 58). Sometimes we have no words, but can only reach out with our tears and seek forgiveness and understanding. We can’t even explain it to ourselves, but God accepts our tears of repentance. Even though “fallen” before man, we are granted stature by God when we truly repent. Yes, tears can be part of spiritual healing, helping us connect with God.
Last, but certainly not least, are tears of grief that are no strangers to most of us. Most of us have experienced the anguish of a loved one’s death. Such tears tend to spill involuntarily from the inside corners of our eyes and slowly but surely work their way down to our lips where we taste the salty bitterness of life’s most crushing blows. Sometimes we cry until there are no more tears that can be shed, but our heart is still drowning in sorrow from the incredible separation we feel.
Such tears of sadness can be seen on the face of Jesus as He came upon a community mourning the death of a good man. He had been a companion of the deceased individual. We pick up the next rolling moments of this unfolding saga in John 11:33-36 John 11:33-36 33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.
34 And said, Where have you laid him? They said to him, Lord, come and see.
35 Jesus wept.
36 Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!
American King James Version×where we are told, “Therefore, when Jesus saw her [Mary, Lazarus’ sister] weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. And He said, ‘Where have you laid him?’ They said to Him, ‘Lord, come and see.’ Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, ‘See how He loved him!’”
There is much to be considered in these few brief words. Whether He was grieving with the others over His friend or at the despair of their grief because they lacked hope in God, it is a remarkable moment when we see God touched by man and, in turn, reaching out to touch man in deepest empathy. In this tender moment, recorded for our assurance, we can come to fully appreciate that God understands our frustrations, our incredible feeling of separation and our being so all alone.
The comforting and very real truth is that we are never truly alone when we cry. Long ago, the psalmist David melodically set down the words, “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book” (Psalms 56:8 Psalms 56:8You tell my wanderings: put you my tears into your bottle: are they not in your book?
American King James Version×, New Living Translation).
Whether we have had frightened tears, sad tears, shame-filled tears or even unshed tears—God is aware of each and every one. Oh no, we are not alone. But the challenge before us is to see beyond the filmy veil of our tears to a time when they will cease to exist. Just remember, it’s not only a general prophecy for humanity at large, but also much more than that—it’s a promise from God to you personally.
God isn’t going to change His mind
God has been thinking about this a long time and He isn’t going to change His mind. Long ago, in the time of Isaiah, God began to share this significant event by stating, “He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces” (Isaiah 25:8 Isaiah 25:8He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD has spoken it.
American King James Version×).
Ever missed a parade? Ever missed a cab? Never had flowers delivered to you? Has life seemingly passed you by and good things only happen to everyone else? When God says “all,” that means all faces will be touched by Him. That means yours too! God builds upon this thought nearly 700 years later in His revelation to us through the apostle John in Revelation 7:17 Revelation 7:17For the Lamb which is in the middle of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them to living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
American King James Version×, saying, “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” Did you happen to notice the focus of concern getting even more specific? Not simply “all faces” are mentioned, but now it is spoken that “every tear” will be dealt with. A loving God doesn’t miss one tear of yours.
What is being spoken about here is not simply an absence of tears, but a presence of real solutions. For every effect there is a cause. Verse 17 clearly portrays that “the Lamb [that is Jesus Christ] who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters.” This is the full, unhindered access to godly instruction that humanity has rejected. When mankind’s collective eyes are opened to understand God’s way of life, and people stop doing what causes pain and tears, the tears will cease—except perhaps tears of joy.
Keep this picture in your mind
Coming full cycle, let’s look again at Revelation 21:4 Revelation 21:4And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
American King James Version×in which we are elevated from this world of tears to one in which “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” Have you ever wiped a tear from the eye of your child or perhaps the cheek of a girlfriend or the face of your husband? It is one of the ultimate bonds of unspoken communication—of tender affection and love that demands no return other than knowing someone cares.
This is the picture of God that He wants us to carry in our hearts. A picture that colors our thoughts, and thus our actions, that portrays God as being near, so very near that whatever we go through now in this world of tears will be worth it to simply be there to experience the ultimate moment of divine connection.
World News and Prophecy will continue to bring sobering news concerning this world of tears in which we presently exist. But we must see beyond the folly of man entrapped in his ways, and see—may I say sense and feel—the fullness of God’s ultimate good news—a world in which there are “no more tears.” Until that time, we must learn and come to emulate the example of the fallen woman whose tears flowed toward her present hope and future reward, rather than her past—now forgiven.
Our tears must come to rise in chorus with those mentioned in Ezekiel 9:4 Ezekiel 9:4And the LORD said to him, Go through the middle of the city, through the middle of Jerusalem, and set a mark on the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the middle thereof.
American King James Version×whose sighs and cries reach the heavens regarding a world that rejects the ways of God. Like Christ, we must come to an appropriate spiritual maturity to “weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15 Romans 12:15Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
American King James Version×).
Until that time, let us allow the words of “the Spirit and the bride,” as found in Revelation 22:17 Revelation 22:17And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that hears say, Come. And let him that is thirsty come. And whoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
American King James Version×, to be our guide toward that better tomorrow. It is in the fullest measure of Isaiah 30:21 Isaiah 30:21And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way, walk you in it, when you turn to the right hand, and when you turn to the left.
American King James Version×, which states, “This is the way, walk in it,” that “the Spirit and the bride [the Church of God] say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’”
Come to a world with no more tears. WNP