I love this! In today's passage, we see how Paul's confidence spread to many of the brethren in the Lord. How? Because when Paul was imprisoned and facing less-than-ideal circumstances, he didn't give up. He didn't lose hope or faith. Instead, he continued to preach to anyone who would listen (whether willingly or not). He wrote letters to the churches. He persevered through it all because he feared the Lord as we talked about in our previous devotion. He trusted God with his life and death, whichever it would be, and continued in the work.
When the others saw this, they could draw only one conclusion--this was the real deal! This wasn't some fly-by-night religion or some fancy story to make men important in the eyes of others. This was something more. . . much more! They saw Paul practicing what he preached, no matter the cost. They saw him putting his life on the line to preach the salvation story. They saw a man who showed no fear in the midst of the most frightening of circumstances. And because of what they saw, they grew bold in their faith and followed in his footsteps.
We can be like those brethren, inspired to confidence by other Christians who are paving the way. Or better yet, we can be like Paul, firm in our stand no matter what comes our way. Bold in our bonds. Yes, confidence is contagious, so let's start an epidemic!