Christ in Us: Our Hope of Glory
By David Brandt Berg
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You cannot hide a happy, useful, helpful, shining spirit; it radiates on everybody the same light, the same joy. People see it and say, “You have such a light on your face; you seem so happy, you just shine. You’re always smiling!” It just radiates.
Happiness is what you make it. It’s a law of God just like gravity that you don’t get happy by trying to make yourself happy or trying to get somebody else to make you happy, but you get happiness by trying to give it to other people. You don’t find happiness by chasing it. You go around trying to make others happy, then happiness will find you; it will chase you and catch up with you and make you happy.
There is a little saying that love isn’t love till you give it away. What does it mean? Love isn’t real love until you are spending your time trying to give love to others.—Not trying to get love. That’s not love; that’s selfishness and wanting selfish satisfaction.
When you’re down in the dumps and you’re tearful and you’re a sad sack, you want everybody to be miserable with you; you want everybody else to sympathize with you and be sad with you. “How dare they be happy when I’m so sad? How can you be cheerful when I’m down in the dumps? Come on down here in the dumps with me! Don’t you dare be happy when I’m sad!” It’s pitiful. It’s human nature. But it’s godly nature, it’s spiritual nature, it’s the nature of Jesus to try to lift others up and encourage them and cheer them up even when you don’t feel like it.
The trouble is, I've found many people blame all their troubles on somebody else. They go around all their lives looking for somebody to make them happy instead of trying to find somebody they can make happy. It’s a common reaction to try to blame your problem on everybody else. “Why me, Lord? I didn’t do it; they did it to me! It wasn’t my fault. It’s his fault, her fault! They’re the ones to blame! They’re the ones that made me feel like this.” Because you’re sad and you’re unhappy, you may not even realize it, but you’re trying to bring everybody down with you.
My, how we love sympathy when we’re down, when sometimes that’s the last thing in the world we need. Somebody needs to come along to wake us up out of our lethargy and our stupor of self-pity and self-sympathy so we can get our minds on the Lord and His work and others and forget our stinking self! You’ll never get the victory by looking at yourself. There’s nobody that drags me down worse than me and myself, my own foul spirit.
Different denominations have different doctrines about getting the victory. Some believe that everybody’s got a good self and a bad self, and the only way to get the victory is to get the good self on top of the bad self and hold him down. They call it the doctrine of suppression, that you’ll always have that good and bad self, and the only thing to do is to just hold the bad self down.
The Holiness people believe in the doctrine of eradication: “Yes, you’ve got a good and a bad self, and the only way to get the victory is to get rid of the bad self. Go through the process of entire sanctification. Have the bad self cut out and throw it away like a cancer so there’s nothing but good self left. This is the good me. This is my self, the real self, the good self. There’s no evil thing left in me now; I’m all good, just the good me.”
The true doctrine of the Holy Spirit is neither one. You don’t get the victory by holding down that bad self, that temptation, that weakness, by just trying to hold it down by your own strength and by your good self sitting on it. You’ll never get the victory that way. And you'll never get the victory by thinking that you can have God cut out the bad self and just leave the good self.
I want to tell you right now, there is no such thing as good self at all. Your self cannot be good, not any part of it! There’s no good thing in you. The apostle Paul said, “No good thing dwelleth in me.”1 The true victory is not yourself, but His Self, Himself, so that “it is not I that live, but Christ that liveth in me.”2 The doctrine of habitation, cohabiting with the Lord.
“There is none righteous, no, not one. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”3 You’re no better than me and I’m no better than you. There’s nobody any better than us except Jesus. He’s the only one who can be good, and without Him we’re nothing! We can’t be good without Jesus, we can’t be righteous; we can’t get the victory, we can’t overcome our weaknesses. Don’t try to chase out the darkness; let the light in. Let Jesus in and He’ll take care of the whole problem. Get your mind off self and let Jesus come in and let the life of Christ shine in you.
Let go and let God! Quit trying to be something you aren’t and can never be, and that’s righteous. Only Jesus can make you righteous. Just let Jesus in. As that old song says, “Lift your heart to heaven and His glory will come in. Let Jesus have possession, He’ll save you from your sin. Lift your heart to heaven and His glory will come in.”
“Let go and let God have His wonderful way, let go and let God have His way! He’ll fill with His Spirit and turn night to day, let go and let God have His way.”
None of us are good enough. Only Jesus is good enough, but He’s good enough for us all. So let the light in and the darkness will flee. What is the glory? It’s the Spirit of the Lord. It’s His Spirit, His glory, His Self.
In our school we used to have people complaining about evil spirits and demons and devils. “Oh, the Devil did this and the Devil did that, and he caused me this trouble, and he was the one that delayed me, and I have so much trouble with the Devil.” I’d say, “Your problem isn’t the Devil! It’s our own spirit that we have the most trouble with, not evil spirits.”
Don’t blame it on everybody else and evil spirits and even the Devil. You can be your own worst enemy! You may have conquered all the rest, but your own spirit is the most difficult to conquer, and the only way you’re ever going to conquer it is not to conquer it, but to let Jesus conquer it. He’s your best friend.
“Keep your eyes on Jesus, do not watch the waves. Keep your eyes on Jesus, 'tis faith in Him that saves. Keep your eyes on Jesus, His promises avail. Keep your eyes on Jesus, praise God, He cannot fail.”
So why not quit trying to succeed yourself. Quit trying to have the victory. Just let Jesus come in and let Him win it. Get your mind on the Lord. Get your mind on your job. Get your mind on helping others. Seek their happiness before your own. Have real, genuine, sacrificial, unselfish love. That’s love, not trying to make yourself happy or trying to get others to make you happy. Get your mind on Jesus. Ask Him to help you love Him so much you’ll love others so much you’ll forget yourself, and live for Him, live for others.
Why not get busy and work hard for Jesus, work hard for others, work hard to help other people? You’ll get so busy and so filled with His Spirit and so filled with His joy and His happiness that He gives you as a result of trying to make other people happy, that you’ll forget that self of yours and your own worst enemy and you’ll find that your best friend, Jesus, can do it all if you’ll just let Him.
“Christ in me, the hope of glory. So that the life which we now live in the flesh, we live by the grace of God. It is no longer I that live, but Christ that liveth in me.”4
Originally published June 1985. Adapted and republished February 2014.
Read by Bryan Clark.