Does it seem peculiar to you that I said that if you seek to save your life you will lose it, but if you seek to lose your life for my sake you would obtain eternal life? Consider a parallel to the world of commerce. Who do you think is a better prospect for long term employment?
One who seeks to work himself out of a job, or one who seeks to prolong his actions to take as long as possible to do a job? Short term actions have long term consequences, but decisions that are right for the moment and for the day are also right for decades and for eternity. Do you think of the gospel message as only delayed gratification? I provide you joy in this life along with your persecutions and eternal life in my Kingdom.