One of the greatest gifts that God has given us is nature. Its beauty is breathtaking—and its beauty exists simply because God is a good Creator.
In her book, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
, author Annie Dillard writes that “… if the landscape reveals one certainty, it is that the extravagant gesture is the very stuff of creation. After the one extravagant gesture of creation in the first place, the universe has continued to deal exclusively in extravagances.”
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This vital report reveals the top 50 countries where Christians are most persecuted for their faith.
In other words, creation is extravagant simply because God created it that way. In His mercy, God is good and gives good gifts to us, His children—and nature is one of His most obvious gifts to us!
But, of course, God’s ultimate gift to us is His grace and salvation. In the words of Titus 3:5, “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.”
God’s extravagance is on display in the natural world—and in the hope we have as Christians.
And for persecuted Christians, who risk so much to follow Jesus, God’s mercy and grace keep our sisters and brothers resilient, clinging to the hope of Jesus. That's the focus of this year's World Watch List—the extravagant hope and goodness of God.
As American Christians, we have a lot to learn from Dr. Yattara, a Christian from Mali
(seen in the video above), and the millions of other persecuted Christians around the world. These aren’t super-Christians—they hurt and doubt, just like we do.
But if we listen to their stories, we can see a glimpse of God at work in the world, bringing light into the darkness.
God’s extravagance isn’t just in creation—though His mercies are revealed in our natural world! His abundant grace also shows through persecuted Christians who remain resilient, joyful and hopeful in the face of oppression, violence and even death.
If we have the courage to pay attention to the testimony of our persecuted families, what new mercies of God might we see? How might our faith change?
Take the first step and listen to their stories. Then, see how your faith will grow and change as you come face to face with the extravagant grace of God in a new way.
A great way to learn what's happening among persecuted Christians around the world is to download and read the 2024 World Watch List. Click here to get your free copy.