All of us have been guilty of getting down in the dumps. It’s a terrible state to be in, especially because we can never be down in the dumps alone. We always drag somebody down with us. We can’t keep our problems and our draggy spirits to ourselves. Others can just take one look at us and know that we’re in the dumps. We can’t hide a bad spirit that radiates gloom and doom any more than we can hide a good spirit that radiates happiness and light.

Happiness is what you make it. It’s a spiritual law of God, just as sure as the law of gravity, that we don’t get happy by trying to make ourselves happy or by trying to get somebody else to make us happy. We don’t find happiness by chasing it. We get happiness by trying to give it to other people. If we go around trying to make others happy, then happiness will find us. Sooner or later it will catch up with us, and we’ll find we’re happy too.

There’s a saying, “Love isn’t love till you give it away.” What does that mean? — Love isn’t real love unless the main motive behind it is to make the other person happy. Trying to get love isn’t love; it’s selfishness.

When we’re down in the dumps, we want everybody to be miserable with us; we want everybody to sympathize and be sad with us. “How can you be happy and cheerful when I’m so sad? Come down here in the dumps with me!” It’s pitiful! That’s human nature. But it’s godly nature to try to encourage and cheer up others, even when we need cheering up ourselves.

The manifestation of the problem is not the important thing. The symptom is not the disease. The core of the problem is us. We need to quit blaming our lack of victory on everybody else.

Most people’s problem is that they blame all their problems on somebody else! They think, “It’s that person I have to work with” or “that person I have to be with” — or this one or that one. But when they move on to a new job or new relationship, they take that same selfish spirit with them and drag down a whole new set of people. And the thing is, no one will ever be able to make them happy, because the problem is not the other person; it’s their own selfish, self-centered, proud spirit.

It’s the Devil’s own tactic to try to get people to always blame their problems on everybody else. “Why me, Lord? It wasn’t my fault! It’s his fault or her fault! They’re to blame! They’re the ones that made me feel like this!” If those people could only see themselves the way others see them, they’d understand how ridiculous and wrong that attitude is.

My, how we love sympathy when we’re down! But sometimes that’s the last thing in the world we need. Somebody needs to come along and wake us up out of our stupor of self-pity so we can get our minds on the Lord and others, and forget ourselves! We’ll never get the victory by looking at ourselves. There’s nobody that drags me down worse than me! Self is horrible! Self is terrible — that kind of self!

Christian denominations have various doctrines about getting the victory. Some say 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.”

Others preach the doctrine of eradication: “Yes, you’ve got a good self and a bad self, and the only way to get the victory is to get rid of the bad self. Go through the operation of entire sanctification, have the bad self cut out, and throw it away like a cancer, so there’s nothing but good self left.” They then say, “This is the good me! This is my real self, my good self! There’s no evil thing left in me now, I’m all good!” Self-righteous and holier-than-thou is what they really are!

Well, the true doctrine of the Holy Spirit is neither one! You don’t get the victory by holding down that bad spirit, that bad self, that temptation or weakness yourself, in your own strength. You’ll never get the victory that way!

Neither will you ever get the victory by thinking that you can have God cut out the bad self once and for all and leave only the good self. There is no such thing as good self! Even the apostle Paul said, “I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells” (Romans 7:18).

True victory is not found in ourselves, but in Himself — Jesus. “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57). “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).

That’s the theological doctrine of “habitation” — cohabiting with the Lord. God tosses out the bad self and He also tosses out the good self, because it’s bad too. Sometimes it’s even worse — self-righteous, hypocritical, holier-than-thou, and critical!

No self is good! “There is none righteous, no, not one! … All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:10, 23 KJV). You’re no better than me, and I’m no better than you. Nobody except Jesus is any better than anyone else! He’s the only one who can be truly good, and without Him we’re nothing, empty, zero! We can’t be good without Jesus, so why keep trying? We can’t be good. We can’t be righteous. We can’t get the victory. We can’t overcome. We can’t get rid of the darkness by trying to chase it away, but we can get rid of it by letting the light in. Let Jesus in, and He’ll take care of the whole problem!

We can’t get the victory! Jesus has to get it, and we have to let Him or we’ll never have it. Let’s quit trying to be something we aren’t and can never be, and that’s righteous. Only Jesus can make us
righteous. We don’t have to work it out, pray it off, pray it on, or pray it down. We don’t have to do anything except just let God do it through us. Just let Jesus in! Get our minds off of ourselves — even our supposed good selves — and let Jesus come in and shine through us. There’s an old song that 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.

Only Jesus is good enough, but He’s good enough for us all! What is the glory? — It’s the Spirit of the Lord! It’s His Spirit, His glory, His self — not our self.

I play a little Ping-Pong [table tennis], but I’m not very good. I miss the ball and usually lose, and it’s not always because my opponent is all that good. It’s because of my own mistakes. When that happens, I often say that I’m my own worst enemy.

We can be our own worst enemy! I’ve heard people complain, “The Devil did this and the Devil did that. The Devil caused me all this trouble!” Well, I’d say that in many cases the real trouble was not evil spirits but their own spirits.

We can’t blame it on everybody else or evil spirits or even the Devil. He can’t touch us unless we let him in through our wrong attitudes and own bad spirits. It’s our own spirits that we have the most trouble with. It’s our own spirits that are the most difficult to conquer, and the only way we’re ever going to conquer them is not to conquer them, but to let Jesus conquer them. He’s our own best Friend! He is the only one who can help us get the victory — not over our situations or others or whatever, but over ourselves where the big problem is. If we let Jesus conquer our spirits, He can easily take care of all the rest!

Keep your eyes on Jesus;
Do not watch the waves.
Keep your eyes on Jesus;
It’s faith in Him that saves.
Keep your eyes on Jesus;
His promises avail!
Keep your eyes on Jesus;
Praise God, He cannot fail!

Quit trying to succeed yourself. Quit trying to win the victory yourself. Just let Jesus come in, and let Him win it. Get your mind off the supposed problem and on the Lord. Get your mind on helping others. Seek their happiness before your own. Have real, genuine, sacrificial, unselfish love. Ask Jesus to help you love Him and others so much that you’ll forget yourself, your worst enemy, and live for Him and others. Get filled with His Spirit, His joy, and His happiness, and your best Friend, Jesus, will do it all. Let’s pray and ask Him right now to do it.

(Prayer:) Do bless and keep us, Jesus. Keep us not only from the Evil One and his minions, but most of all keep us from our evil selves. Help us to keep our hearts right and wide open to You, so Your light can come in and chase away the shadows and the darkness. Amen.

Your Best Friend, Copyright © 1998-2012, The Family International