SABBATH

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sermonette: Fortress of Joy

Retaining Godly Joy
Bill Onisick
Given 13-Jun-20; Sermon #1549s; 17 minutes

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Human happiness is perishable, dependent as it is on positive life-experiences. Spiritual joy, a product of God's Holy Spirit, is infinitely more enduring than happiness based in the physical world. King Solomon tried to find joy in this world only to find vanity (emptiness). The physical is never lasting. Self-satisfaction, Solomon learned, is always at variance with Godly joy. As the builders of Jerusalem's wall learned during the days of Nehemiah, only joining with God produces permanent joy. Godly joy is the product of God's Holy Spirit living in His first fruits. If the first fruits continue in His love, He will join them, giving them pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16; 11) transcending trials (James 1:2) and even the sting of death (I Corinthians 15:55). As long as they remain connected to the vine (John 15:11, John 16:22), their joy will be full. Humans will never find lasting joy in things under the sun. Yet, God's people can even increase their joy by imitating Christ in serving their brethren (Matthew 25:40).