The Place of Bitter Tears

Dr. Rob Green June 23, 2019

3 benefits of bitter tears

Psalm 6:6-7 - I am weary with my sighing; every night I make my bed swim, I dissolve my couch with my tears. My eye has wasted away with grief; it has become old because of all my adversaries.

v. 12 - Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; do not be silent at my tears.

I. Bitter Tears Can Motivate Us to Find Direction

Esther 4:1 - When Mordecai learned all that had been done, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city and wailed loudly and bitterly.

A. Bitter tears help us see what is most important

Esther 4:8 - He also gave him a copy of the text of the edict which had been issued in Susa for their destruction, that he might show Esther and inform her, and to order her to go in to the king to implore his favor and to plead with him for her people.

Esther 4:13-14 - Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not imagine that you in the king’s palace can escape any more than all the Jews. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?”

B. Bitter tears encourage us to remain dependent

Esther 4:16-17 - Go, assemble all the Jews who are found in Susa and fast in my behalf. Don’t eat and don’t drink for three days, night or day. My female attendants and I will also fast in the same way. Afterward I will go to the king, even though it violates the law. If I perish, I perish! So Mordecai set out to do everything that Esther had instructed him.

II. Bitter Tears Can Motivate Us to Admit Wrong and Prepare to Move Forward

Matthew 26:75 - And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, “Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.

Matthew 26:33 - But Peter said to Him, “Even though all may fall away because of You, I will never fall away.” Jesus said to him, “Truly I say to you that this very night, before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You.” All the disciples said the same thing too.

A. Peter admitted his wrong

B. Peter also moved forward

Acts 2:22-23 - Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know—this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.

1Peter 5:1-3 - Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.

III. Bitter Tears Can Motivate Us to Remember That Only Our Future Will Be Fully Satisfying

Matthew 2:16-18 - Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi. Then what had been spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “A VOICE WAS HEARD IN RAMAH, WEEPING AND GREAT MOURNING, RACHEL WEEPING FOR HER CHILDREN; AND SHE REFUSED TO BE COMFORTED, BECAUSE THEY WERE NO MORE.”

Jeremiah 31:15 - The LORD says, “A sound is heard in Ramah, a sound of crying in bitter grief. It is the sound of Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are gone.”

“Tucked into these wonderful promises is Jeremiah 31:15, the lone verse in this chapter that reflects the current grief surrounding the Assyrian and Babylonian exiles. Jewish mothers have watched their sons go off to battle, some to die and others to be carried away captive to distant lands….Ramah was six miles north of Jerusalem; departing captive from Judah’s capital had to go through it on the road to the lands of the northern invaders.” (Craig Blomberg, “Matthew” in Commentary on the New Testament Use in the Old Testament ed. D. A. Carson and G. K. Beale [Grand Rapids: Baker, 2007], 9).

A. Bitter tears are part of life here and now

B. Bitter tears encourage us to long for the days when all will be made right

Revelation 21:4 - …and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.

Dr. Rob Green


Pastor of Faith Church East and Seminary Ministries - Faith Church

MABC Department Chair, Instructor - Faith Bible Seminary

Director of the Biblical Counseling Training Conference - Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries


B.S. - Engineering Physics, Ohio State University
M.Div. - Baptist Bible Seminary
Ph.D. - New Testament, Baptist Bible Seminary

Dr. Rob Green joined the Faith Church staff in August, 2005. Rob’s responsibilities include oversight of the Faith Biblical Counseling Ministry and teaching New Testament at Faith Bible Seminary. He serves on the Council Board of the Biblical Counseling Coalition and as a fellow for the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors. Pastor Green has authored, co-authored, and contributed to 9 books/booklets. Rob and his wife Stephanie have three children.

Read Rob Green's Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Green to Faith Church.