The point in the above passages is not that Paul is a man of extraordinary courage, but that the Holy Spirit gives each of us the courage we need to do our work. In those passages, Paul credits the Holy Spirit for keeping him going in the face of such adversity.
This is an encouragement to us today, because we also can depend on the Holy Spirit to give us the courage we may lack. The danger is not so much that courage may fail us in the moment of greatest terror, but that general worry will deter us from taking even the first step into following the ways of God’s kingdom in our work.
How often do we fail to defend a colleague, serve a customer, challenge a boss, or speak up about an issue, not because we are under actual pressure but because we are afraid that if we do we might offend someone in authority? What if we adopted a position that, before we will act contrary to God’s ways at work, we will at least have to receive an actual order to do so? Could we begin by counting on the Holy Spirit to sustain us at least that far?
with thanks to Bible commentary project www.TheologyOfWork.org