I saw courage this morning. I don't mean a small iota of courage, but medal of honor courage. I saw Daniel in the lions' den courage, the three Hebrew fellas in the fiery furnace courage, the prophet Jeremiah confronting the false idea of Temple courage.
Paul gets stoned in Lystra. And that's not stoned as in "Dude, I'm stoned..." That's stoned as in people pick up rocks and throw them at your head. He's pulled out of the city and left for dead. And what does he do? He gets up and goes back into the city (14.19-20). He spent the night in the exact same city where he was stoned and left for dead. He went back into the place where great suffering and injustice were perpetrated against him.
And then he did it again (14.21). And then he did it again! (16.1)
Three times he went back to Lystra, back to the place of stoning and persecution, back to the place of pain. He did so for the sake of the Gospel in the lives of those who lived there. He did so because dying is gain. He did so because there are things more important than comfort. He did so because he drew from a source of life that produced this kind of courage in him.
But that's just me thinking thoughts...