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What the Bible Says about Tears

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tears in the Bible

Tears. They are a part of life. We cry when we are sad or mourning a loss. We cry when we are fearful. We even cry tears of joy. God created us to experience emotion. He hears our cry and sees every tear we shed.

So where can we find tears in the Bible and what does the Bible say about tears? 

Tears are a fairly common theme throughout the Bible, in fact, in the KJV (I have not found any resources which provide word counts for the NIV or other translations):

  • the word – tear – appears 13 times*
  • the word – tears – appears 36 times*
  • *(although the word tear or tears can also denote rip or ripping)
  • the word – cried – appears 199 times
  • the word – cries – appears once
  • the word – criest – appears 5 times
  • the word – crieth – appears 17 times
  • the word – cry – appears 181 times
  • the word – crying – appears 31 times

Tears in the Bible

Tears are a Part of Our Human Life and Experience

a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance Ecclesiastes 3:4

God has created us to be emotional beings. We laugh, we shout, we cry. Our world is a sinful one. A fallen one. There is plenty to cry about including loss, death, fear, disappointment – even joy. Crying is our emotional response to situations we face as humans. It’s ok to cry, in fact, we can be comforted knowing that God created us to cry, at times. Sometimes we can’t help our tears, but often crying will help us to be refreshed and even restored. Have you ever felt better after a “good cry”?

Tears are Temporary

For his anger lasts only a moment,
    but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
    but rejoicing comes in the morning.

Psalm 30:5

Most of us don’t cry 24/7. There is a time laugh and a time to cry. Crying is only temporary. As believers, we cry and feel sadness, but we also have hope in Christ and know His promises to us. When we cry, we know that we can wipe our tears and press on because He holds us in the palm of His hand. We are even instructed to rejoice in mourning and trials because we know that God has plans for us and is making all things work together for our good.


God Sees Our Tears

The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
    and his ears are attentive to their cry; 

Psalm 34:15

Many of us don’t want others to see us cry, but God sees our tears (even those we cry in secret or behind closed doors). He knows our pain, our hurts and disappointment. He mourns with us and is there with us and for us. Our tears should bring us to our knees in front of Our Heavenly Father to remind us that we need Him and He loves us.

God Cares About Our Tears

Blessed are you who hunger now,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.

Luke 6:21

Have you ever cried in front of someone who just doesn’t seem to care about your tears? That is not the case with The Lord. He cares about you and your tears. His fatherly compassion draws Him near to the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3). 

God Will Turn Our Tears Into Joy

Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 

John 16:20

As the disciples were crying, Jesus said to them “Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy”. Our tears will dry up. Our hurting will diminish. Our grief and disappointment will soften. If you are experiencing a time of sadness now, it may be hard to believe that. But if we believe in God, we can cling to Him during the pain and grief and rest knowing that one day, He will turn our tears to joy.

Picture of person wearing hooded jacket with text He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain.  For the old order of things has passed away. Revelation 21:4 for post What the Bible says about tears

Tears are One of the Punishments for the Wicked and Unbelievers

There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out.

Luke 13:28

It’s hard to even think about how much crying, weeping and tears we’ll see at judgement time. Those that turned their hearts from God will regret, but won’t be able to go back. Their mourning, their weeping, will last throughout eternity. (If you know someone who continues to resist God, now is a great time to commit to praying for them daily until they are saved in Jesus’ name!) 

Jesus Shed Tears

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. Jesus wept. John 11:33-35

Jesus was both Lord man man. He was Sovereign, yet experienced the same emotions that we do. He also experienced sadness and a deep desire for people to turn from sin. When Jesus cried, the crowd noticed and expressed how much Jesus loved Lazarus. He also cried when He saw the pain of those He loved. He hurt. His spirit hurt – for us. Have you cried when someone you loved was hurting? Jesus cries for the brokenhearted, too. He weeps with us.

Picture of open Bible on table with folded hands near it with text what the Bible says about tears for post What the Bible says about tears

Tears of Believers Will Be Wiped Away Forever

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

Revelation 21:4

When we are in the muck and mire of pain and hurt, it may be hard to believe that one day, in heaven, we will never cry again. God has prepared a place for His children. In this glorious paradise there will be no more sorrow or mourning. There will be peace, joy, happiness for all eternity. We won’t need to cry because we will enjoy fellowship with God forever.

God Remembers Our Tears

Record my misery;
list my tears on your scroll—
are they not in your record?

Psalm 56:8

God sees us cry, he cares that you are crying and he even collects our tears. They are written on His scroll. There are times when I felt that God must have volumes just for my tears, but, according to the Bible, there are no wasted tears for those who trust in God. He allows us to hurt and to cry out to Him so that we can find peace in Him. He wants us to feel His presence even in the chaos, pain and trials of this life  – especially in those times. When we cry, we need to cry out in faith and not despair so that our hearts can be made whole in Him.

The next time you cry. Remember the verses about tears in the Bible and be encouraged that God loves you. He cares about your tears and will wipe your tears away. Your tears will be turned into joy.

I highly recommend this book, Tears on My Bible, for a fresh perspective on tears, grief, pain and resting in the hope of our Savior.

What the Bible Says about Tears 1
What the Bible Says about Tears 2

Because of Him,


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Raye Loretta Garcia

Sunday 17th of April 2022

My husband left me for another woman 7 years ago. I was devastated. So broken. I can't believe he will do it after surviving so many trials in our marriage for 21 years. I still cry about what happened to my life and my family. I even came to the point of losing the li'l faith I have. Yes, this made me lose faith, but kept on clinging to that li'l faith I have. Thanks be to God for letting me meet good priests that guided me. After reading this, I even thought that maybe my tears are there because I am wicked, but then I thought otherwise after reading this. After the experiences I had this Holy Week I can say that my tears will eventually turn into joy. It may not be now but in God's perfect time. Thank you. God be with you in your endeavors. This helped me a lot.

Susan Nelson

Monday 25th of April 2022

I can understand your pain as that happened to me as well (about 15 years ago). I'm so glad that the post blessed you! Thanks for stopping by and have a beautiful and blessed day! Hold on to God and your faith. He has a plan for you!


Wednesday 19th of January 2022

My husband of 45 years went home with the Lord 1/3/22. That week is a fog. I’m Strong believer and prayer warrior but my heart is broken missing him. He’s all around me and during my fasting and prayer, I feel Christ and know Larry is with Him but I’m left here and so unsure of myself. Endless tears.

Susan Nelson

Saturday 5th of February 2022

Oh, I am so very sorry to hear of your loss. May our Father give you comfort and peace that only He can.

Kerubo Jacklyne

Friday 13th of August 2021

Susan thanks for such inspiring information on our tears sometimes life can mean to be hard but after crying to God He is really a faithful and loving God . He hears us.

Susan Nelson

Wednesday 25th of August 2021

Yes! He hears us and loves us and counts every tear. I'm so glad that the post blessed you. Have a wonderful day and thank you for stopping by!


Wednesday 6th of November 2019

I'm 68 years old. I have not cried heart felt cries for myself in years. I believe I've cast my cares on the Lord as the Bible says, but I'm at a place now in my life when past hurts are coming up again and I would love to cry from my heart, release the pain and except the call that God has on my life. I need to cry, I want to cry but I am in such bondage that tears want come. I would appreciate any advice and wisdom that the Lord gives you for me. Thank you,


Wednesday 6th of November 2019

Hi, Patricia - I'm so sorry that you feel that you are in bondage, sister. The best advice I have for you is to get real with God. Pour out your heart. Ask Him to guide you. He will answer and and He will help. I'm praying for you! Thanks for stopping by.

Rita Neukirch

Friday 28th of June 2019

I was looking up tears to show our granddaughter what the Bible says. I thought this was a well researched, Spirit filled post. It is totally Scripture based. Good job! Thank you! Rita


Friday 28th of June 2019

Thank you so much for your encouraging words. I pray that it blessed you and your granddaughter. Thank you for stopping by!

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