St. Paul describes his own journey of faith. It began with a conversion which was an entirely free gift of God. Jesus taught: “Do good to those who hate you.” The first One to practice that policy is Jesus himself who reached out to St. Paul when he was Saul, Jesus' enemy.
St. Paul's journey led through many revelations and many contradictions. At the very beginning Jesus allowed him to wait for three days in darkness before giving him further instructions. It is hard to find an example of a rockier road than that of St. Paul. The Holy Spirit made a point through St. Paul's life as well as through his words. The point, of course, is that disciples will have difficulties including persecutions.
Yet by the same Holy Spirit St. Paul always kept the large view—always rejoicing, enriching many—and everything was his. Nothing could separate him from Christ. Jesus was the center of his life and outreach.
You have reached out to me, Lord, when I was not worthy. Can you be less concerned now than you were then? I believe you can bring me through any difficulty.