A Christian dies for their faith somewhere in the world at a rate of approximately one every 3-4 minutes (160,000/year). David Sitton writes:
What will I suffer if I refuse to suffer for Christ? What will I lose if I refuse to lose my life with Jesus for the nations? What “glory” (Paul’s word – Romans 8:18) will I miss out on if I shirk suffering for the gospel?
There is something in suffering for the gospel that produces supernatural affection and compassion within you towards those who are harming you. At the same time, when one can praise God instead of denying him in the midst of suffering, unbelievers take notice. Some are inevitably saved, which generates more persecution, which in turn, fuels an even more passionate scattering of the gospel. The result is that whole new regions are quickly populated with believers and churches. This is how suffering and persecution nearly always advances both personal sanctification in the sufferer and the speedier, wide-ranging expansion of the gospel among the persecutors.
Read the whole thing.