Life in the desert isn’t easy, what with the sun constantly beating down upon you and the scarcity of both food and water, survival in the desert is precarious at best. Yet though the LORD continuously demonstrated to his people that he was watching over them, protecting and providing for their needs, the Israelites nonetheless grumbled. A lot. And often. As we’ve seen, they grumbled when they found themselves trapped between the Red Sea and the Egyptian army; they grumbled when the water at Marah was bitter and undrinkable;  they grumbled when they found themselves without bread and meat. Yet despite their grumbling:
The LORD miraculously delivered them from the threat of the Egyptians by parting the Red Sea, offering the Israelites safe passage but drowning the entirety of the Egyptian army that had been in pursuit;
Later, he not only caused the bitter waters of Marah to become sweet, but he then lavishly provided by leading his people to twelve springs of water;
And he miraculously provided as much bread—manna or “what is it?”—and quails as each person needed.
Yet somehow, the fact that the LORD had done all of these things for the Israelites seemed to slip their minds once the next trial came along. Despite God’s constant provision, their default response continued to be that of grumbling and accusing him of not caring for them. This morning we see how God’s people yet again grumbled when faced with a trial—once more a need for water; and we’ll see yet again how the LORD graciously provided water for them—and this despite their grumbling.
As Exodus 17 opens, we read, “The whole Israelite community set out from the Desert of Sin, traveling from place to place as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink.” Positively, the people followed the LORD’s command as he led them “from place to place;” but negatively, despite the LORD’s many miraculous provisions in the past, when again faced with a lack of water, rather than turn to the LORD, the people of Israel grumbled. Specifically, as stated in verse 2, “they quarreled with Moses and said, ‘Give us water to drink.’” As we keep noting, given that Moses was God’s chosen representative to lead his people and communicate with them on his behalf, to quarrel with Moses was the same as quarrelling with the LORD. This is reflected in Moses’ response to their demand in the latter half of verse 2: “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the Lord to the test?” (emphasis added) Moses understood that the people’s problem wasn’t with him; their problem was with God.
Yet in the grips of their thirst, the people continued to complain as if not hearing Moses’ reply to them. As recorded in verse 3, “But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, ‘Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?’” If you’re feeling a sense of déjà vu, it’s because we’ve seen this type of complaint before. In their minds’ eye, the people had forgotten how dire their existence had been when they were slaves in Egypt. Such amnesia again resulted in their faulting Moses for having brought them out of Egypt in the first place. But they didn’t merely fault him. They also continued to accuse Moses of ill-motives, suggesting that the reason he had brought them out of Egypt was to make them—and their children—and their livestock “die of thirst”! But, again, their problem wasn’t with Moses; their problem was with the LORD. He’s the one whom they accused of abandoning them—and their children—and their livestock to die in the desert. In light of this, one commentator suggests that the reactions of “the people of Israel show a hardness of heart like Pharaoh and the Egyptians….” Their attitude towards the LORD who continued to deliver them was no better than that of the Egyptians who didn’t believe in him.
Fearing for his life, “Then Moses cried out to the LORD” and said to him, verse 4, “What am I to do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me.” Notice that Moses didn’t refer to them as “my” people but “these” people! As one scholar notes, this indicates a “note of distance and alienation” between Moses and the nation of Israel whom the LORD had called him to lead. From Moses’ perspective, he understood that he was no match against thousands of grumbling Israelites. He sensed his peril. He saw that he was in danger of being stoned. But, unlike the Israelites, Moses turned to the LORD for help.
The LORD, of course, graciously responded. As stated in verses 5–6, he answered Moses, “5 …Go out in front of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. 6 I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.” Once again, despite the grumbling and complaints of his ungrateful people, the LORD nonetheless miraculously provided the water they demanded. He did so by having Moses bring along not only “some of the elders of Israel,” but also his staff—the very staff he had used to perform the miracle on the Nile River when, at the LORD’s leading, he changed the water into blood as a judgment upon unyielding Pharaoh who would not let God’s people go and worship him. This was to be the first of the ten plagues that the LORD brought upon the Egyptians in Israel’s behalf. As such, seeing this staff should have served as a further reminder to the Israelites of how the LORD had rescued them from the oppressive life they had experienced as slaves during their time in Egypt.
Now the LORD told Moses to use that very same staff to meet him as he stood before him by the rock at Horeb. Then, upon striking the rock, the LORD would cause water to “come out of it for the people to drink” in yet another instance of God miraculously providing for his grumbling people. But whereas earlier the staff had caused the life-giving water of the Nile River to turn into blood as an expression of God’s judgment, now it would cause life-giving water to burst forth from the rock as an expression of God’s mercy. As one commentator rightly observes, “The trustworthiness of God’s promise to provide for his people is dramatically demonstrated….” in this act.
A further significance of this rock is later noted by the Apostle Paul who identified this rock at Horeb with none other than Jesus Christ. As Paul explained to his brothers and sisters in Corinth “our ancestors were all under the cloud and they all passed through the sea. 2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.” The connection between the rock at Horeb and Christ is a breathtaking reminder of the oneness of Christ with the LORD who stood before Moses at Horeb. Later, when Christ took on human form in the Person of Jesus, by his death, resurrection, and sending of his Holy Spirit after ascending to heaven, he provided life-giving and eternal water to all who would receive him—a touching and humbling expression of the greatness of God who by his grace provides for his undeserving people despite their grumbling and false accusations against him. As one commentator suggests, “The rock at Massah, struck for God’s people, is a type of Christ, the incarnate and blameless Son of God who endured the punishment for sin.”
Verse 6 of Exodus 17 ends by noting, “Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel.” And he marked the occasion, as stated in verse 7, by calling the place “Massah”—which means testing—and “Meribah”—which means quarrelling. As stated in the remainder of the verse, Moses called the place these names “because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the Lord saying, ‘Is the Lord among us or not?’” These names were given to the shame of the Israelites both for having quarreled with Moses and the LORD and for doubting whether the LORD was indeed with them.
Our New Testament passage challenges us to stop and consider whether we’re those who grumble against God or whether we’re those who trust him by using the analogy of building on sand and rock, respectively. It challenges us to ask ourselves: when faced with trials and difficulties, do we complain—and question God’s goodness—and accuse him of not caring for us as the Israelites did or do we rely upon—and submit to—and trust in God’s goodness, knowing he cares for us at all times and in all circumstances? For in this passage we’re exhorted to stand upon the foundation of God’s Word, that is, we’re exhorted to stand upon the foundation of Jesus’ words.
Now since verse 24 begins with “Therefore,” it indicates that what Jesus is about to say follows from what he has said before. In looking back upon what has preceded verse 24 in Matthew 7, we see that:
the chapter opens with Jesus teaching about the importance of judging others judiciously rather than seeing the speck in their eyes while missing the plank in our own. In judging the faults of others, we’re to be sober in assessing our own;
In verse 7 Jesus encourages us to turn to the LORD and present our needs before him noting that if even flawed earthly parents give their children good gifts, “how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” He then encourages his followers to follow our heavenly Father’s example in giving good gifts by stating what has come to be known as the Golden Rule in verse 12: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets;”
Next Jesus tells his disciples to enter through the narrow gate that leads to life rather than the wide gate and broad road that lead to destruction;
Then he warns about false prophets who come in sheep’s clothing “but inwardly…are ferocious wolves.” False and true prophets can be known by their bad and good fruit, their bad and good deeds, respectively;
Last, Jesus similarly addresses true and false disciples. The false claim to do what they do in Jesus’ name despite not knowing him. They use his name to impress others. This is in sharp contrast with true disciples who do the will of their heavenly Father. The Father’s will is to believe in his Son, Christ Jesus, and receive his eternal life. The actions of true disciples arise from an intimate relationship with Jesus. Jesus is to be known, not used.
Now all of these teachings are but the end of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount which begins in chapter 5 of Matthew’s Gospel. So the “therefore” of verse 24 applies not only to the teachings of this chapter but to the entirety of his sermon. However, in chapter 7 we have a good summary of key themes that are representative of Jesus’ teaching: Again, we’re to:
Trust in our heavenly Father’s goodness and turn to him with our concerns;
Believe Scripture’s teaching over our society’s teaching when these are at odds with one another;
Not follow false prophets;
And prioritize our relationship with Jesus, doing what he asks.
If we do these things, we will be wise. Or, to return to Jesus’ words in verse 24, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” A wise person doesn’t merely hear Jesus’ words; a wise person does what he says by putting his words into practice in their lives. We noted a few weeks ago that James learned well his brother and Lord’s teaching. Using the analogy of looking into a mirror, the perfect law of God, he similarly wrote in his epistle, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
Instead of a mirror, Jesus develops the analogy of hearing and doing by referring to wise and foolish builders—very appropriate for one whose trade was that of a carpenter! As already noted, he begins by stating, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” The wisdom of building a house on rock is made evident when, as stated in verse 25, “The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” Connecting the analogical dots, if we hear Jesus’ words and do them; if we hear Jesus’ words and put them into practice, then even when the storms of life come our way—and make no mistake, the storms of life will come our way—we’ll be able to weather these storms. For being grounded in God’s Word will sustain and help us withstand life’s challenges and trials.
Contrast this with the person who hears Jesus’ words but doesn’t do what he teaches. As stated beginning with verse 26, “26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” If we hear Jesus’ words but don’t do what he says; if we hear Jesus’ words but don’t put them into practice; if we hear Jesus’ words but decide that we—not he—know best how we ought to live our lives, then when the storms of life come our way—and, again, make no mistake, hard times inevitably will come our way—we won’t be able to weather these storms. Instead we’ll find ourselves defenseless in knowing where to turn. For whatever it is that we’ve placed our faith in instead of Christ’s words will prove to be futile: whether we’ve placed our faith in our health—or our wealth—or our abilities—or our intelligence—or our wits—or our strength—or our hard work. None of these will suffice in weathering the rain coming down and the streams rising and the winds blowing and beating against the house of our soul. A house built on any foundation other than God’s Word, other than Christ’s Word, will fall with a great crash.
Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount having come to an end, verses 28–29 state the reaction of those who were listening to it: “28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.” The teachers of the law, the scribes and rabbis, relied upon the teaching of other rabbis. Not so with Jesus. Unlike me, he didn’t need to consult any secondary sources. He spoke on the authority of his own words. He did so because he was the author of Scripture. He did so because he was God in the flesh.
The question that both of our passages this morning place before us is: What about us? Do we stand on the Rock of Jesus, the Rock of God’s Word? Are we wise builders who build our lives upon the foundation of God’s Word, of Jesus’ teaching? Or are we foolish builders who choose instead to build our lives upon whatever foundation seems best to our own limited understanding?
One way of knowing whether or not we’ve built upon the rock of Jesus, the foundation of Scripture, is by considering how we deal with adversity. How do we react when the storms of life come upon us? When the rains come down and the streams arise? When the winds blow and beat against the houses of our souls? When these storms batter our lives, do we like the Israelites in our morning’s passage forget God’s previous kindnesses and provisions? Do we, consequently, quarrel with and lash out against God, questioning his goodness and accusing him of not caring for us? If we do, this indicates that we’ve foolishly built upon sand and have forgotten that God’s Word teaches that he will never leave us or forsake us; that come what may, he will never let us go.
Conversely when life’s storms come our way, do we stop and consider the ways in which our kind LORD has cared for and sustained us in the past? Do we remind ourselves that, consequently, we can trust him in the present and in the future? Do we wisely turn to the foundation of God’s Word to see that Satan, not God, is the author of evil? That it is Satan, that ancient serpent, who entered the Garden and, by luring our first parents to do his will rather than God’s, sought to destroy God’s good creation? But God, knowing well his adversary and, being far wiser and more powerful than he, before he ever founded the world determined to send his Son to deliver his good creation from evil so that all who believe in him might receive the eternal life offered by him who loves them rather than the eternal death of him who seeks to destroy them.
Again, are our hearts, like those of Pharoah and the Israelites, hard towards God and his Word? Hard hearts are hearts that grumble and complain and accuse God when times are tough. Hard hearts are built on sand. They’re characterized by Massah, testing God, and Meribah, quarreling with God.
Or are our hearts soft, built on the rock foundation which is none other than Christ Jesus and his Word? Soft hearts rely upon—and submit to—and trust in God’s goodness even when, especially when, times are tough. For as Jesus teaches, if we build on the rock of God’s Word, we can withstand life’s storms. We can withstand whatever trials may come our way. Soft hearts are characterized by going to Jesus when our hearts are heavy-laden and seeking his rest. In all things they pray to him and seek his peace which passes all understanding.
Dear sisters and brothers, let us ever be those who seek to build on the rock of God’s Word, the rock of Jesus’ word. For if we stand on the Rock of Christ, when life’s storms come our way—when the rains come down and the streams rise, when the winds blow and beat against the houses of our soul—we’ll nonetheless know that he is ever with us; we’ll know he is ever for us; we’ll know that he will never ever let us go—not in this life or in the life to come.
Let us pray.
Benediction: Philippians 4:4–7:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
 Exodus 14:10–12: 10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. 11 They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”
 Exodus 15:22–24: 22 Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea and they went into the Desert of Shur. For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water. 23 When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter. (That is why the place is called Marah.) 24 So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What are we to drink?”
 Exodus 16:2–3: 2 In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. 3 The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.”
 Exodus 15:21–22, 26–28: 21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, 22 and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left…. 26 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen. ” 27 Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing toward it, and the Lord swept them into the sea. 28 The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived.
 Exodus 15:27: Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped there near the water.
 Exodus 16:13–15: 13 That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. 14 When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. 15 When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was.
 Crossway ESV Study Bible note on Exodus 17:2. The note goes on to observe that this “is precisely how Ps. 95:7–9 describes these events.” Psalm 95:6–11 states: 6 Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; 7 for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if only you would hear his voice, 8 “Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness, 9 where your ancestors tested me; they tried me, though they had seen what I did. 10 For forty years I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray, and they have not known my ways.’ 11 So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’”
 Zondervan NIV Study Bible note on Exodus 17:4.
 Exodus 7:14–21: 14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is unyielding; he refuses to let the people go. 15 Go to Pharaoh in the morning as he goes out to the river. Confront him on the bank of the Nile, and take in your hand the staff that was changed into a snake. 16 Then say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say to you: Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the wilderness. But until now you have not listened. 17 This is what the Lord says: By this you will know that I am the Lord: With the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water of the Nile, and it will be changed into blood. 18 The fish in the Nile will die, and the river will stink; the Egyptians will not be able to drink its water.’” 19 The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt—over the streams and canals, over the ponds and all the reservoirs—and they will turn to blood.’ Blood will be everywhere in Egypt, even in vessels of wood and stone.” 20 Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded. He raised his staff in the presence of Pharaoh and his officials and struck the water of the Nile, and all the water was changed into blood. 21 The fish in the Nile died, and the river smelled so bad that the Egyptians could not drink its water. Blood was everywhere in Egypt.
 Crossway ESV Study Bible note on Exodus 17:6.
 Emphasis added. 1 Corinthians 10:1–4. Tragically, Paul concludes in verse 5: Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
 See John 4:13–14: 13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”; John 7:37–39: 37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.; Revelation 7:16–17:
16 ‘Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them,’ nor any scorching heat. 17 For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’”
 Reformation ESV Study Bible note on Exodus 17:6.
 Matthew 7:1–5: 1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
 Matthew 7:11. In context, verses 7–12 state: 7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
 Matthew 7:13–14: 13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
 Matthew 7:15. In context, verses 15–20 state. “15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
 John 6:40: For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
 Matthew 7:21–23: 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
 James 1:22–25: “22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.” See sermon preached on February 20, 2022 on Exodus 15:22–27, How to Receive God’s Blessing.
 See the Reformation ESV Study Bible note on Matthew 7:29: “The scribes, like the later rabbis, taught by referring to what previous teachers had said.” and the Zondervan NIV Study Bible on Matthew 7:29: “The teachers of the law quoted other rabbis to support their own authority…, but Jesus spoke with divine authority.”
 Hebrews 13:5–6: 5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”[Deuteronomy 31:6] 6 So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”[Psalm 118:6,7] Deuteronomy 31:6, 8: Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you…. 8 The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Psalm 118:6,7: 6 The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? 7 The Lord is with me; he is my helper. I look in triumph on my enemies.; Romans 8:38–39: 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
 Ephesians 1:3–8: 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us.
 Matthew 11:28–30: 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
 Philippians 4:4–7:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.