Here is a good word from Henri Nouwen that ties in well with part of what we reflected upon yesterday in worship:
"Nothing is real without deriving its reality from God. This was the great discovery of St. Francis when he suddenly saw the whole world in God's hands and wondered why he did not drop it. St. Augustine, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John Vianney, and all the saints are saints precisely because for them the order of being was turned around and they saw, felt, and - above all - knew with their heart that outside of God nothing is, nothing breates, nothing moves, and nothing lives.
"This makes me aware that the basis of all ministry rests not in the moral life but in the mystical life. The issue is not to live as well as we can, but to let our life be one that finds its source in the Divine life." - From Gracias!
I think what Nouwen is saying relates especially well to Paul and what we've discussed about him as we've been looking at Philippians. Paul strikes me as someone whose "whole order of being was turned around," and that he came to discover that God is not a moral police-officer, but is rather a the great lover of a fallen, broken world in need of redemption. I think Paul's deep, abiding awareness in God's sovereign benevolence is also what gave him such confidence regarding whatever the future held for him. He knew that - as Nouwen describes - all the events of history, including Paul's own personal history, were in God's good, strong hands.