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The Missing Peace by Josh Knowlton

26 Mar
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Celebrating Josh’s 20th birthday a month ago at Wheaton College

(Note from Roger:Today I have asked one of my favorite people in the world to be a guest blogger.  He is my one and only son, Josh Knowlton. Josh is a sophomore at Wheaton College studying Anthropology.  Aside from academics, Josh is a member of the Wheaton Men’s Glee Club and the acapella group, Thundertones. He’s also a weekly worship leader for three-year-old Sunday School at the Church of the Resurrection and also leads a weekly ministry to teach English to native Chinese speakers in the Chinatown area of Chicago. Lastly, he also occasionally writes a personal devotional from his Scripture reading. So for today…I asked him to go public. Be sure to share freely!)

One of the deepest cries of every soul is the plea for peace. Not having peace is like a restless night’s sleep. You toss and you turn as your bed creaks and moans. Your pillow always has a lump in it; your sheets always have a crinkle. The temperature either makes you shiver or sweat, as nagging frustration runs through your mind. And when you wake up the next morning in a half-sleep stupor, you end up more tired than you were the night before. Not peace.

This “not peace”  is a constant reality everywhere we turn. It happens at home in the sounds of raised voices; it happens at work in gossip or a biting remark; it happens at school in the form of stress and “being left out”; it happens in the world in the ways of Ferguson, Ukraine and Russia, ISIS.

Every night, the world has insomnia. It’s tossing and turning, desperate for some peace it believes should be here. Restless for rest. But every morning we awake to a world that seems worse off than it was before.

And yet, Paul says that because we have been “justified by faith” by Jesus’ death and resurrection, we can have peace! True peace, a “peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). Although the world may still be broken and restless in endless ways, God wants us to experience his peace by being in a relationship with him, by knowing his grace.

This probably isn’t shocking to you. But it should be. You see, God knows the words you’re going to say before you even think to say them (Psalm 139:4). He’s numbered your days, and knows what each one will be like (Psalm 139:16). He knows you, the real you. He knows your family history and your inside jokes with your best friends. He’s watched and smiled at your most embarrassing moments, and applauded you at your biggest successes. And he knows your sin—the horrible things you wish you could forget and the little things you can’t even remember.

God knows you better than Google knows your search history. And yet he still loves you endlessly. And as Paul says, he lets us, unclean sinners, enter into a peace with him. No more restless nights, right?

Maybe one day. But for now, this isn’t quite the end of the story. We still live in a world full of violent unrest, unrelenting agitation. Not peace: suffering. And even though as Christians, the Holy Spirit has given us peace, there’s still going to battles we have to face—there’s still going to be suffering.

So how does this suffering work into this plan of peace?

Paul, as usual, has the answer. He outlines: “suffering produces endurance…endurance produces character…and character produces hope” (Romans 5:3).

You see, suffering is like a super-charged, rocket-engine fuel that is agonizing to produce, but ultimately launches our hope in God into the stratosphere. Just like rocket science, it’s hard to understand—especially when you’re living through that suffering. But with Christ working through our suffering—we end up producing hope. It’s kinda like putting last week’s garbage in a blender and ending up with the new iPhone 6. It’s wonderful, beautiful, impossible, glorious. It’s Christ working through us.

Without Christ, peace is like a puff of smoke we see but can’t contain, a handful of sand running through our fingertips. But with Christ, peace is a reality that takes hold in our hearts. And it’s here for us—here for you.

 

For tomorrow, Friday, March 27th: Romans 6

While you’re at it, here’s another story about Josh…

 
9 Comments

Posted by on March 26, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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9 responses to “The Missing Peace by Josh Knowlton

  1. Mark Hron

    March 26, 2015 at 5:00 am

    Amen Josh!

    Liked by 1 person

     
  2. Wenda Lehman

    March 26, 2015 at 8:45 am

    . . . as it is said . . . the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree! Great writing like his/your father/Father! Great application Josh!!! You, young man have much wisdom for your age – great gift – may it keep you walking ever close to the GIVER who alone maintains it.

    On another note . . . I was thinking how i had wished we were in a gospel for this Easter season, but God in His infinite wisdom put in just the perfect place to see the deep riches and efficaciousness of the cross and the empty tomb. These chapters in Romans are so ripe with meditational ponderings for us of God’s grace to unworthy but nonetheless deeply loved mankind. i am just so grateful for HIS GLORIOUS, POWERFUL WORD!

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Roger Knowlton

      March 26, 2015 at 9:57 am

      Thanks so much, Wenda! Good thought- Easter in Romans is a fine place to be.

      Like

       
  3. Clarice

    March 26, 2015 at 8:49 am

    A blog I’ll keep to read for encouragement often. Precious promises of God from a young man’s heart with a gift to share them in writing with us. May many seek and find this”peace” this year as we celebrate Easter at Edgewood.

    ck

    Liked by 1 person

     
  4. Kenneth Medema

    March 26, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    Hey Josh
    Thanks for sharing the word with us this morning. Its is great to see He has given you His heart and gifted you with such great wrighting skills. Will be looking forward to hearing from you again. Thanks Ken

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Roger Knowlton

      March 26, 2015 at 1:01 pm

      Thanks for the encouragement brother! I heartily agree! Proud of my son!

      Like

       
  5. PJ

    March 26, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    Move over Roger!

    Liked by 1 person

     
  6. Laura Welch

    March 27, 2015 at 10:11 am

    Just my thoughts, PJ!

    Like

     

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