I Second that Devotion
I have heard Christians talk about thinking something is wrong with them because they really don't endure what they consider "persecution". Basically, the idea is that you're really not doing your job, as an evangelical Christian, if you're not even sometimes under fire for the "Christian" things that you believe. The logic there being that, naturally, any belief associated with Christianity will upset most non-Christians in the vicinity. They further speculate that perhaps they're not as much devoted to their faith if they're not seeing a noticeable amount of persecution.
Usually such a discussion will veer toward my question of "Well, what qualifies as persecution anyway?" I won't go there in this post. But what I thought about was one good reason for Christians to desire at least some people to be in their lives who confront them with challenges as to the validity of their beliefs as associated with Christian faith.
While this is most assuredly not an original concept, I think that reason can simply be stated as "devotion". It seems as though many of the people who cling most to their faith, and demonstrate devotion to it most fervently, is those who encounter something that is dangerous to them or their faith. The reason this occured to me is I was listening to a song by a rap group called "Westside Connection". I would never claim that anyone in the group is a Christian since I have no idea whether they are or not and the majority of their lyrics are somewhat obscene. However, the following words made me think:
"See, we all got problems but some need addressing. And so at night i hit my knees and begged him for my blessings, And ask him for forgiveness to minimize my stress , Nigga, continue to know how to dodge this Smith & Wesson, And with his help i will perform in my best, And it's still hard with all this temptation and testenin', If i'm wrong I Just accept it as a lesson"
The writer is talking about facing danger on daily basis and depending on God daily for protection and health. Also, he talks about how to approach mistakes made in that effort. While this doesn't necessarily that the writer is devoted, it's an illustration of what that kind of "persecution" can change in someone.
Maybe it's not sounding as profound as it did in my head, but I'd say if there's a reason to desire persecution, as Paul did (2 Cor 12:10), it's because you may find your faith becomes strong because of your weakness to hardship.