By Sis. Evangeline Davis
A fine young evangelist remarked to me some years ago, “Sister Davis, I have never wept over the lost. I don’t know what that is. I am never given to tears.”
I hasten to point out that this young man was exemplary in character and conduct. He was modest and unassuming. He was richly talented.
In fact, he had to his credit a long list of fine qualities. I have often meditated on his frank confession. I have wondered whether it is possible to really love mankind and yet remain tearless. Is it possible to have a genuine burden for the lost and never weep over them? Can it be that tears are superfluous and unnecessary? Can one be dry-eyed and still be moved by the needs that scream at us from all quarters?
I remember hearing a certain minister make a significant and weighty remark back some years ago. He spoke from a burdened heart as he said, “God, help us to often weep and keep broken before the Lord.” I have never forgotten that.
Our hearts do not bleed. We are short on Calvary compassion. We can witness crushing tragedy. There are multitudes hoping that somebody cares. May God keep us from forming callouses on our hearts. Christ-
like compassion is never out it is more needed now than ever.
It should be said that there are certain varieties of tears that are unworthy. Some people weep because a carnal ambition has been thwarted and unrealized. Others have acquired the martyr spirit, and
consequently upon the slightest provocation they cry in self-pity. There are some who weep because they are peculiarly vulnerable to anything that is morbid and sad. Some are unusually skillful in shedding crocodile tears. God must be displeased with selfish tears. He must loathe all weeping that is insincere and superficial. Having said this, we must point out emphatically that there is a weeping that is prompted by the Holy Ghost. When we permit God to cultivate hearts of compassion within us, there will be tears to be sure.
The great, rugged men of the Bible were given to tears. One example is Jeremiah. The supreme example is our Lord Jesus. Never let anyone suggest that it is not masculine for a man to weep, for we have precedent after precedent in God’s Word of brave, strong men who gave way to tears in the face of sorrow and need. We need less joking and wisecracking, and more weeping and groaning in Spirit. We need tears in the pew and in the pulpit.
God save us from preaching that has no tears. God save us from praying that has no tears, that doesn’t come from a broken heart. God save us from any Christian service that isn’t watered with tears. Churches that have no weeping, no confession no fasting, no travailing in prayer do not have visitations of power from on high. Can we expect sinners to weep, when God’s people won’t weep? First of all, we need a crying
among God’s people over lost sinners, and over the awful sins that strain our fair land. What does God think of us when we never weep or sigh? May God help us to weep over our own short-comings, and then over eternity-bound, never-dying souls.
How long has it been since you were thoroughly broken before the Lord? When was the last time you wept on your face before God in agony over a perishing world? Sometimes we unwittingly resist the breaking process before God. Let the tears flow. Don’t let foolish pride rob you of the brokeness that is so vital in effective spiritual service.
A certain minister that I know very well was passing through a difficult time in his ministry. He was a pastor who had been used of the Lord in winning the lost in his Sunday night or evening services. For a number of weeks there had been no penitents at the altars on Sunday nights. As the weeks went by his distress and concern over this increased. Finally, in desperation he locked himself in a room alone and literally fell on his face before God. He cried out, “O God, tell me what’ s wrong ? Why aren’t sinners coming as they used to? Please, Lord, show me the reason.” Suddenly he was conscious of having lost
something that had once characterized his prayer life. The Holy Spirit whispered to him, “Son, it’s been a long time since you have wept over the lost. Many weeks have elapsed since you’ve been broken in prayer.”
From the depths of his soul, he cried out, “God, bring back my tears! Bring me back my tears! ” The foundations of the deep were broken up within his soul, and he wept and sobbed before God for almost an hour. He went from that sacred place of communion with God a new man. As he stood in the pulpit there was an unaffected throb in his voice that hadn’t been there for a long time. His heart was full, he preached with a burden, and once again sinners came weeping to the altars.
I can’t adequately explain why it is that God requires tears, but I know He does. It is the conviction of my heart that if all of our Christian workers over the country would cry out to God, ” Bring back my tears! “, we would witness the unleashing of a tremendous Holy Ghost revival.
One day General Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, received a letter from one of the workers who was greatly discouraged. The worker said he had tried everything without success. Every effort in his city
had been fruitless. General Booth sent this young officer a telegram of words: “Try tears.” The young man took this advice and revival came. On behalf of a perishing humanity, let us ask God for a burden, a
compassion, a broken heart.
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY MINNESOTA MESSENGER, JULY 1997, PAGE 6. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.