Paul was a man of deep convictions. He gave everything to whatever he set his hand and heart to doing. He was committed to ridding the world of Christians until he had an encounter with the living God. Then he spent the rest of his life serving the Lord Jesus.
Paul's life after committing to Christ was filled with perils and joys. He went from being the privileged of the Sanhedrin to being hunted and abused. He lived in wealthy homes, ate with rich and poor, spent the end of his life in prison. He witnessed to kings and rulers as well as the poor, destitute and diseased.
Through it all, he learned to praise, worship and serve the Lord. He learned how to make use of the time and circumstances to advance the kingdom of heaven. While chained to the guards, he shared Jesus with them. These same guards spread the gospel to the rest of the Roman soldiers. They, in turn, took the gospel to all the distant places they were sent to conquer and occupy.
Paul did not instantly learn patience or contentment. We want to gain patience but we want it NOW! Patience, like a foundation, is built by first digging out the base. After placing the foundation stones of trust and faith in the living God, we must next place a layer of belief that God has a plan for us to prosper and grow in Him. Each layer is a labor of love. Each stone is carefully placed and when troubles shake our foundation, we can trust in the Lord to keep our foundation strong and solid.
Learning contentment is an ongoing effort. It is not built on a good sermon or a good book on theological information. Contentment and patience are built on daily and sometimes moment by moment events. They are built on making choices and learning from the results of those choices. They are built on the solid rock of Jesus and His love.