Ephesians 6:19. “And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel.”
Some have painted Paul as a man of unusual courage. Maybe, but this verse indicates to me that he was just as human as the rest of us, and he wasn’t too proud to admit it. Paul did not think more highly of himself than he ought to think.
I’ve wondered what might have been going through his mind as the Roman soldiers tied him to a whipping post for the first, second, third time. Surely there was fear. A Roman scourging was no small punishment. Some died under it. There had to be a degree of fear.
Al the other physical brutality he endured? He was stoned and left for dead, shipwrecked, snake-bitten, and more. I can’t imagine he just shook it all off fearlessly and went about his business.
But this verse is not a litany of complaints. What he is asking is that no matter what may be his next episode of fear, he wanted prayer that he would open his mouth to speak the truth, the mystery, of the great love of God, because that was his mission from God and he couldn’t let fear get in the way.
I think perhaps his last few minutes of life, as they beat him before beheading him, were perhaps the most fearless moments of his life. He knew he was soon to see the Savior that he served.