I have seen your tears
My dear youth:
I greet you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and I ask that His blessings, love, and direction be upon you in abundance.
During life there are special situations that we could label as “solemn moments”; that is to say something very transcendental that marks our life. They are those moments in which depending on the decision we make, there will be effects that will affect us for better or for worse. Every time a year is about to end, most of us wonder how it has gone, what important things have happened during those twelve months that have passed, what have we excelled at, what joys we have experienced, what problems we’ve had to face and have overcome, or which have led us to be chained to suffering, disease, anguish, fear, remorse. Whatever it is, the “solemn moments” come to all of us in life and we must learn to develop the ability to know how to be in them without losing our spiritual composure.
What does this mean? This year 2020 has brought much suffering and confusion to all of humanity; many people have died from the fatal Coronavirus or from other diseases, natural disasters, or accidents. Only God knows what the human heart is capable of withstanding and the pain we face. He is the only one who can see the naked human soul, no one has to explain or deceive him. He knows everything.
As I said, in every time and place the enemy has been primed against the children of God to convey to them the idea that our Creator cares little to nothing, otherwise He would block all blows. But this is not true. God allows suffering with a benevolent goal: to help us grow in holiness. All of us who profess to love God will have to go through those “solemn moments” in which the divine sift will shake us to separate the chaff from the grain. That is why Peter tells us that this experience is universal: “Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.” 1 Peter 5:9.
Instruments for building character
Job had to pass through that valley of the shadow of death of which Psalm 23: 4 mentions. Joseph also, because he tasted the gall of his brothers’ hatred, the wickedness of Potiphar’s wife, the coldness of prison… Daniel was wrongly accused by his colleagues in the palatial court and sentenced to death in a lion’s den; his companions were thrown into a fiery furnace for defending their faith; David was hated to death by some of his sons and hunted by a maddened king; many Christians of the first centuries served as derision and mockery for thousands of spectators who watched impassively how these innocent victoms were torn to pieces by wild beasts or burned alive in the arena of Roman circuses.
Why so much pain and suffering? The answer may be difficult to digest, but it is the one we find in the Bible and also from a man who had to experience the sting of evil firsthand: “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 5:3, 4. The prophet Isaiah was also a man strengthened by suffering and he wrote that trials serve to educate us in the life of faith: “Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.” Isaiah 48:10. What is a foundry for? To purify the gold. In the same way God perfects and purifies us in the fire of affliction.
The inspired pen confirms this truth: “The trials of life are God’s workmen, to remove the impurities and roughness from our character. Their hewing, squaring, and chiseling, their burnishing and polishing, is a painful process; it is hard to be pressed down to the grinding wheel. But the stone is brought forth prepared to fill its place in the heavenly temple. Upon no useless material does the Master bestow such careful, thorough work. Only His precious stones are polished after the similitude of a palace.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessings, pg. 10.
Hold on to the promises
The good news is that we are not alone in this refinement process; the slag must disappear from our character contaminated by sin, but the divine Goldsmith directs the whole process in a meticulous way considering in a particular way each jewel that He has in His hands. So when we suffer, He sees us; when we despair, He is by our side to help us; when we cry He contemplates our tears and comforts us: “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears…” Isaiah 38:5.
This is your wonderful promise! Do you believe it? Why anchor yourself in pain when the Lord promises to accompany and comfort us? Why live feeding our misfortunes and increasing our pain? We must look ahead and cultivate the firm conviction that God sees our tears, even those that are not seen, but that still lacerate the heart. God knows everything about us and understands us. He wishes to restore us to his divine image.
God does not forbid us to cry when life hits us, but He does invite us to trust that He sees our tears; it means that He understands our pain and comes to us through His Holy Spirit to dwell within our being and to endow us with His grace so that we may overcome every test and hard blow. “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13.
Our Lord Jesus Christ had his “solemn moments” in which the destiny of the human race was decided: the desert, Gethsemane, Calvary… all places where the dear Savior had to drink the bitter cup. The Lord Jesus, as a man, also had to face trials like us, and by holding on to the hand of His Father, He obtained the victory. Jesus also cried, because He was human, but he knew that His Father watched over Him and sustained Him.
The assurance that we are not alone in our sufferings, that each tear we shed is seen by the Lord, will give us emotional stability and peace, even in the midst of the most ruthless storm. “You number my wanderings; put my tears into your bottle; are they not in Your book?” Psalm 56:8.
Those who cry and in their pain seek God with all their hearts are included in this promise: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4. Yes, dear youth, every tear that you shed in affliction God sees and takes into account. Is this not wonderful?
In this new year that is soon to begin, let us keep this promise in mind, let us embrace with all our might the truth that we have a Savior who pities us, who takes into account every tear we shed, who wants to help, restore, and transform our heart. Will you let him? I wish you a happy and blessed new year.
José Vicente Giner
Pastor and Youth Department Leader
of the General Conference
- Why does the Lord allow trials in our lives?
- What has God promised to those who suffer?
- What does it mean that God sees our la?