By David Jeremiah
If there ever was a time when the world needed hope, grace, unity, and salvation, it’s now. According to the online version of the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook, 31.4 percent of the world is Christian, at least in name. Muslims account for 23.2 percent, and 15 percent of earth’s population is Hindu. Those major religions dominate the world, but over 16 percent of the world is unaffiliated with a formal faith. Their religion is none.
Similarly, a recent report in Newsweek claims that Islam is the fastest-growing religion on earth and will challenge Christianity as the world’s largest faith by 2050. Those who study missionary trends, however, report “historically unprecedented Muslim movements to Christ” are taking place in our day. Untold numbers of Muslims are embracing Jesus Christ, often at the risk of their own lives. In America, on the other hand, Christianity is showing deep and frightening declines.
Here’s my point—we have an unfinished task and a lot of glorious work ahead of us—especially now as the world weeps as we recover from all that has befallen us.
Consider this: Tears often become trails to Christ. They can pave a way for spiritual healing. The God who invented tears is moved by them. When Hezekiah was dying from an incurable disease, the Lord said, “I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you” (2 Kings 20:5). The psalmist said, “Put my tears into Your bottle; are they not in Your book?” (Psalm 56:8). Psalm 30:5 says, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”
Someone called tears “liquid prayers,” and that’s often true.
The Spanish philosopher, Miguel Unamuno, coined a phrase—the common weeping. He wrote, “I am convinced that we should solve many things if we all went out into the streets and uncovered our griefs, which perhaps would prove to be but one sole common grief, and joined together in beweeping them and crying aloud to the heavens and calling upon God.”
Pastor H. Stephen Shoemaker said, “American Christians and the American church tend to ignore the tragic side of life and suppress the Common Weeping. The Psalms do not. The Bible’s hymnbook is filled with laments where our common weeping is lifted to God. But we rarely read these psalms. Our hymnbooks used to have a number of lament-like hymns until we put them aside in favor of a sunnier spirituality.”
I like a sunny faith, but every sky has occasional bouts of rain.
Pastor Sammy Burgess said, “Several years ago, I had eleven funerals in a span of three months. One day, I found myself in my office at the church, head in my hands, weeping. No one had said anything to hurt me; everything at the church was going very well. I was hurting. The tears were given to me by the Lord as a release valve. I could not hold in how I felt any longer.”
No Better Time
There’s no better time than now to weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15). Global Media Outreach documented last spring as the pandemic was growing, that there was a 170-percent increase in clicks on their search engine ads about finding hope.
We never know when the next pandemic will invade the earth, how severe it will be, or what worldwide event may occur in the future. Just imagine what would happen if the global Internet was attacked and taken down, even for one day. We’re living in pre-Revelation times, and we don’t know how long it will be before our Lord returns for His Church. In His sermon on the End of the Age in Matthew 24, Jesus said, “Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing” (Matthew 24:46).
At Turning Point, we believe we’re living in the most optimized age in history for the spread of the Gospel. We have technologies no prior generation could imagine, and we’re not planning to quit until we’ve done everything possible to reach everyone possible. There’s no better time than now.
No Better Means
There’s also no better means for reaching the world than going forth with tears. The apostle Paul didn’t have the technologies we have, but he did have the tears. He told the Ephesians, “You now, from the first day that I came to Asia, in what manner I always lived among you, serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears” (Acts 20:18-19).
Psalm 126:5-6 says, “Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”
Dr. Joseph Parker said, “Tears are telescopes. I have seen further through my tears than ever I saw through my smiles…. Blessed be God, we can see Jesus through our tears. He knows what tears are. Jesus wept! The eyes that John saw as a flame of fire, the Jews at the grave of Lazarus saw as fountains of water…. Every one amongst us has tearful times. But we use our tears wrongfully if we do not lift up our eyes and look through them unto Jesus in the heavens!”
No Better Mission
We’re living in a weeping world. You and I are God’s answers to its pain. Let’s weep with those who weep. And let’s weep for those who aren’t concerned enough to weep. God can convict them, and He often uses world events to draw people to Himself. You have a big role to fill. Let’s do it with moist eyes.
They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest (Psalm 126:6, NLT).
By David Jeremiah