Testimonies of TEARS! Edited by David Smithers

E. M. Bounds in the Christian Advocate once wrote; a tearful ministry is at a premium in the Bible; however, it may be discounted by our gospel of fun, which seeks to make people feel good and laugh heartily. God's Hebrew prophets were serious men - men of the tearful eye and of the tearful heart. Jeremiah was the weeping prophet who wanted his head to be water and his eyes a fountain of tears that he might weep day and night. Isaiah, the most gifted of them, said, "I will weep bitterly, labor not to comfort me." The minister is not to deal with a system or a church - he is neither a professor nor a pope - but he deals with men, and a tearful tenderness is the gift for soul winning power. The ministry of Christ was a tearful ministry. The summary of His ministry is drawn by the divine pen, "who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears." His ministry broke His heart as well as sacrificed His life. The true apostles of Christ, the bravest and the best, have ever been, like their Lord, tearful men. They have followed in His footsteps "weeping, bearing precious seed," and all their songs and success have grown out of a soil that they have watered by their tears. Paul's ministry was tuned to this strain of tearful tenderness. "Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears." "I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears." His letters were inspired by hearty compassion and sorrow. "For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears." "I ... tell you, even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ." His strongest and sharpest utterances were softened and bathed in tears. Timothy's ministry was one of tears: tears that touched Paul and gave intensity and charm to Timothy and his ministry. Tears are the symbols and fruit of a compassionate ministry. How we need to be in the company and school of Christ till our hearts are broken and we have caught somewhat of the sober seriousness, somewhat of the infinite tearfulness, somewhat of the fathomless sorrow that possessed Him!

A. G. Osterberg was an eyewitness of the Azusa revival. He gives some interesting insights into this remarkable move of the Spirit. "I have been asked what in your judgment was the outstanding spiritual phenomenon of the revival?" My reply was, "Without question, it can be answered in one word, namely TEARS! The greatest hindrance in the entire realm of revivals is the hardness of heart and spirit. Its cause is spiritual rebellion against God, exercised in an embezzled human sovereignty. Among Christians, hardness of heart is probably the greatest single obstacle to revival. The Azusa revival began where every revival should rightly begin - in repentant tears. It began in tears, it lived in tears, and when the tears ended, the Azusa revival ended. Tears of guilt confession; tears of fault confession; tears in humble contrition; tears of self-denial in expression of soul humility, tears of sheer gladness and heavenly joy; Holy Ghost tears intermingling testimony and praise, often overflowing upon the congregation as a benediction from the battlements of glory."

When Mrs. McAulay went to toil in the East of London with her devoted husband, she was so heartbroken at what she saw of the ravages of sin and the impotence of the Christian Church that she cried herself blind. The sight of one eye was restored, but she carried one sightless eye to her grave, thus bearing in her body the marks of the Lord Jesus. She knew, indeed, what it was to sigh and cry over the abominations done in the city.

From: A Revival Source Center