I believe in the sovereignty of God. God has supreme control over all things. He ordains whatsoever comes to pass. He decrees even the very details of our lives. Theologically, I concluded a long time ago that if God is not sovereign, then he is not truly God. If God is not over all, then he is not God at all.
This certainly affects how we look at life. When blessings come, we give God the praise. When trials and hardship come, we believe that they are part of God’s plan and that God has a purpose in them. “And we know that all things work together for good for them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Rom 8:28).
But this does not mean that we always easily accept God’s will in our lives. We are often confused and can see no purpose in what God is doing. Sometimes we doubt whether God even loves us because life can be so hard. It’s part of still being in the flesh.
Even though we know God is in control of all things, this does not negate the response of tears and sorrow in the midst of trials. We have been taught to think that weeping is a sign of weakness. We must keep a smile on our face to show how much faith we have.
We have forgotten that we have a right to mourn.
David cried on numerous occasions. Sometimes he cried so much he could not cry anymore. “Then David and the people who were with him lifted their voices and wept until there was no strength in them to weep” (I Sam. 30:4).
Jesus wept when he saw others weeping. When Jesus saw Mary and her friends weeping over the death of Lazarus, he was “deeply moved and troubled” (John 11:33).
The Bible tells us that “Jesus wept” (John 11:35). Jesus wept over the coming destruction of Jerusalem (Luke 19:41).
Paul commands us to weep when we see others weeping. “Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep” (Rom 12:15). Someday there will be no more tears, but that is a blessing for our future (Rev. 21:4).
There are so many people hurting because of the trials they must endure in this life. Behind that smile on their face may be a grueling struggle.
For many of them, a word about the sovereignty of God or quoting a few selected verses from the Bible is not enough. Sometimes the distraught need more. They need someone to come along side of them and weep with them. Our listening ears and our tears may be the best medicine we can give.
[As an aside: I cannot weep or rejoice with you if I do not know what’s behind that smile you wear. Let the Chruch be the Chruch!]
Lightly edited for our application from a post by Larry E. Ball, retired PCA minister in Kingsport, TN.