The Gift of Tears

The Bible tells us God actually collects tears in a bottle. He knows what you’re going through and He cares about you so very much. He knows every thought and ache you have in your heart, and all your heart’s desires.

Psalm 56:8 says, “You have collected all my tears in Your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” This shows me that, not only does God capture every single tear you’ve cried, but He keeps track of what made you cry and what breaks your heart so that He can heal and comfort you.

Repeatedly in the Bible, figures of great strength and faith pour out their souls in tears and anguish. Two-thirds of the psalms are laments, complaints to God. Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, wrote an entire Old Testament book entitled Lamentations. As did Isaiah and Daniel, Jeremiah wept for the sins and the consequent judgments that would come upon his people.

In the Midrash, rabbinic stories and interpretations of the Torah, even God weeps. God grieved in Genesis (Gen 6:6). Jesus wept over Lazarus and cried out in grief over Jerusalem (John 11:35; Luke 13:34) and the Holy Spirit, too, can be grieved (Eph 4:30).

Certainly, we’re not to cry or mourn like those who are without hope in Christ. And Paul reminded the Church of Corinth that godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation (2 Cor 7:10). There’s a time to weep as the wise teacher of Ecclesiastes teaches us (Ecc 3:4).

1. Tears of Healing
In her book, ‘Visions from Heaven’, Wendy Alec shared a powerful vision during an intense trial in her life:

‘The Father picked up the most exquisitely-cut glass canister filled to the brim with a liquid. “These are your tears that you shed during your time of intense trial.” He picked up another much, much larger canister. “And, these are the tears that I shed. For you.” And the Father lifted the canister of His tears and poured them over the blood seeping from my heart. Instantly the blood stopped flowing and a great comfort washed over my heart.’

Tears can be a healing agent God uses to restore the broken-hearted. Because tears deal with a person’s heart, they’re a powerful tool in the healing of a person from the inside out. Consider this: God weeps with those who weep (Rom 12:15). In fact, it’s in your pain that God is closest to you, whether you realise it or not. The Bible says in Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (NIV).

I like the Message translation of Jesus’ beatitude “Blessed are those who mourn” – “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what’s most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.” – Matt 5:4 (MSG)

2. Tears of Prayers
Not to cry is in some sense missing the depth of feeling and understanding prayer demands. Tears are prayers too – they travel to God when we can’t speak. Our prayers can be powerful, but there’s a special place that opens only to tears. They unlock something inside us and, in the world from the moment our first cry is coaxed as infants, we acknowledge the power of tears to open gates and hearts.

I understood that tears are a gift from God, as I had seasons in my life when my heart was so parched that I could not cry, no matter how hard I tried. Tears tenderise our hearts for change, breaking the fallow ground. Tears are a way that our bodies express our hearts. Lou Engle entreats us to ask God for the ‘gift of tears’. We must have tears if we’re going to see revival. The gift of tears flows from feeling the pain and suffering that the Lord Jesus feels for us. “The greatest reapers in this world are the greatest weepers.” – Paul Cain

“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.” Ps 126:5-6

Especially to the mothers, who have sown and laboured in tears, may your heart be filled with His comfort and the fruit of joy, on this special Mother’s Day. Your tears are precious in His sight and your prayers move His heart. Never underestimate the power of a praying mom.

I remembered when I as studying in Australia years ago, 
I wrote a letter of appreciation in Chinese to my mom. My dad called me and told me that my mom was in tears after reading my letter. For some strange reason, I was so moved that I started crying too. Her tears and love had so touched my heart.

Thank you, moms, for letting us feel God’s love radiate through you. For helping us understand what tender but unconditional love is. We’re grateful for all the sacrifices of love you’ve made for us; for all the tender smiles that have given us hope in our worst moments. You’ve showed us that true strength is exemplified in gentleness and loving-kindness; not always in thought and deed, but with our heart of hearts.

P.S. We love you, moms!


Ps. Timothy Chong

The Pool of Bethesda

Since the start of the year, we’ve seen a dramatic spike in the number of healings in Cornerstone, some of which are very notable. When a person scheduled for surgery gets it cancelled because the doctors cannot find what was wrong before, that’s a significant miracle. 

3rd or 4th stage cancers almost used to be a death sentence, but no longer. Faith is rising and people are starting to understand that nothing is impossible for God. There’s nothing that God cannot do. When we use words like ‘incurable’ today to describe diseases, we’re diminishing God’s power. We ought to banish that word in church. If you use the word ‘incurable’, you’ve just made the sickness greater than God – there’s no impossible situation that God cannot reverse.
 
A prophet wrote to me about a vision he saw: read more…

Hope in God

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is more than an event. This resurrection power that brought Jesus from death to life releases an amazing hope to transform lives, both now and in the future. This resurrection power is available to us and releases a hope to expect great things from God. It’s not only a desire for the good outcome; there’s a confident expectation it’ll happen because, “It is finished!” (John 19:30).

Hope can mean the difference between hanging on and giving up. It can mean keeping a positive mind when the physical evidence compels you to give up. It can involve an estimation of probabilities, not knowing what the odds are. It’s the voice in your head that says, “You can do this”. It’s this attitude of ignorance, coupled with defiance, but still choosing to ‘hope against hope’, beating the read more…

The Lord Speaks

I’d like to reiterate on this Resurrection Weekend that Jesus Christ is ALIVE! This is the greatest and best news ever to hit this planet and after 2,000 years, it continues to be most significant. It’s because He’s alive that salvation for mankind is possible. The Son of God came down on earth and paid the cost of sin, and did for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves. There’s no better nor greater news than this. Our eternity is changed because Jesus died for our sins.
 
One of the clearest personal evidence that Christ is alive is that He speaks to us – especially as followers of Christ. And when the Lord speaks and we hear what He’s saying, life is a lot easier to manage and go through. It’s also a lot more fun when read more…

In the Grip of Prayer

I had a very interesting conversation with my wife recently. I shared with her that I was experiencing this strange ‘hollow’ feeling inside of me – it’s like being in this big room all by myself. I don’t feel charged up like I used to after morning devotions. Sometimes it feels like there’s nothing in me to give to others although I’m listening to sermons and praying regularly.

I reflected on my daily routine and asked the Lord to search my heart for any ‘wicked ways’, but nothing significant showed up on my radar. Then my wife said, “Maybe God is changing your ‘spiritual container’ – He’s upgrading you to a bigger one!” Immediately, I had the impression of a 300ml water bottle being filled to the brim with water and the time taken was 5 seconds. I then used read more…

Wrestling with God

Lately, due to my knee injury, I was drawn to study a Bible character who had a limp, and a passage which I found deeply helpful (especially amidst a crisis). It comes from the famous, enigmatic extract in Genesis 32 where Jacob was on his way home to Canaan with his small tribe of wives and children after a 20-year sojourn.

We’re told that Jacob was “very afraid and distressed”, because his estranged brother, Esau was coming to meet him with 400 men (Gen 32:6). This is no welcome party – it’s an army! So, after splitting his household into two camps to try and avoid complete annihilation, the famous scene enacts itself: “Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day”  (Gen 32: 24). Jacob’s wrestling match has taught me a few lessons. 

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How Much Truth Can We Bear?

Jesus was a master at losing people. If you recall, there was a time when the crowds that followed Him were huge. Many were there because they heard of the miracle of the multiplication of bread and fish so they flocked to Him in the tens of thousands.

Jesus, of course, had no intention of allowing anyone to follow Him just for the benefits they could get. So, He said the most provocative thing in Scripture – “Unless you eat My flesh and drink My blood, you have no life in you.” No explanations were given. No apologies were made. For the majority of the crowd, that was just too much.
 
They came for the free bread and now ‘He’s asking us to be cannibals!?’ So, in just one sermon, He lost almost His entire congregation. As read more…

Radical Prayers of Faith

One of the ‘Uniquely Cornerstone’ core values is embedded in the understanding that the church is called to be God’s House of Prayer. For this very reason, we should pray. It’s therefore not a matter of if we should pray, but when we pray. The result of our prayers should reveal the Kingdom, the power and glory of God.

From Matthew chapters 5 to 7, after Jesus had finished speaking to the multitudes, the people were astonished at His teaching for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. And when Jesus taught them to pray, it was not some heartless command but a result of their witness of His relationship with God, His Father.

The effective, fervent and heartfelt prayer is quite the opposite of lethargic, repetitious, and superficial prayer. While we’re passionate, it’s not read more…

The Blessing of Things Going Wrong

You’ve made all your plans. Everything’s prepared. You double-checked and triple-checked. You committed it all to prayer. You’ve made every effort. Despite all the preparation, something goes wrong. The computer crashes and you lose all your data. Your guest speaker suddenly can’t come. The kids fall terribly ill. All of a sudden, your well-made plans are scuttled and you’re left wondering what on earth went wrong.
 
At this point, you can consider a couple of responses. God forbid but some blame their bad luck. The most natural response, in my opinion, is to point the finger squarely at someone else and, trust me, there’s always someone close enough to the matter to be blamed. Or, attribute the matter to spiritual warfare. The worst of all is to back away from ever attempting something quite as audacious.
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When God Doesn’t Make Sense

February 2019 was an interesting month for me. I received not one – but two – watches. Instinctively, I began to seek its spiritual and prophetic significance as I believe the Lord is saying something to me through this. And so my mind began to run through all the ‘watch-related’ Scriptures for clues.

Is the Lord asking me to ‘watch and pray’ more (Matt 26:41)? Or am I to be ‘His watchman on the wall’ (Isa 62:6)? Maybe it’s about learning to ‘number my days’ (Ps 90:12) or to learn more about moving in ‘times and seasons’ (1 Chron 12:32) like the sons of Issachar, since one was a classic retro-looking watch and the other a modern high-tech watch. Or perhaps the Lord is bringing me into a ‘time of refreshing’ (Acts 3:19)? Or the new watches replacing the old read more…

Strengthen the Weak

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.” 
Heb 12:11-12

Over the last few weeks, I’ve learnt a painful but valuable lesson, one which could permanently affect the way I live, how I move, and what I’m able to accomplish with my family. On a family trip to Mt. Kinabalu, I suffered a painful injury to my knee while carrying my youngest daughter on an uphill forest trail. I believe God is teaching me a spiritual lesson and reminding me to strengthen my aging body.

As God’s children, may we continue to allow Him to discipline us and follow His instructions, training, and correction to strengthen the body read more…

The Dark Side of Success

In Luke 12, there was a certain rich man whose ground yielded plentifully. This man could be any person – a stockbroker whose portfolio of stocks had risen greatly in value; a real estate owner whose property assets had dramatically improved; or even a businessman who had just gotten the deal of the century. Or, he could just be a senior pastor who’s seen increase year upon year and all it’s been is hunky dory. Whoever he is, he’s someone who’s struck gold and has now more than he can accommodate. So, he has a logistical problem. He doesn’t have enough space to store his increase.

There’s this internal chatter. He asks himself a question, ‘What shall I do since I’ve no room to store my crops or increase?’ In his mind, he replies to his read more…

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