God led Paul into troubles. But, he was ready. Some theologians state that after his conversion, he was in the desert for ten years. If so, that was his time of purification.
The power of his life came from his pure state, his union with Christ, his life of the virtues.
We need to make time for purification and not waste time.
Too often, and I did this for years and years, we put off walking on the road to perfection. I wasted so much time on trivial things and on worrying. Stop!
We have been given a short time to be made ready for the persecution to come. Look at St. Paul's epistles. These are full of exhortations on being made perfect because of the times of persecution. There is always an urgency in the writings of St. Paul.
A few references:
2 Timothy 3 Douay-Rheims
3 Know also this, that, in the last days, shall come dangerous times.
2 Men shall be lovers of themselves, covetous, haughty, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, wicked,
3 Without affection, without peace, slanderers, incontinent, unmerciful, without kindness,
4 Traitors, stubborn, puffed up, and lovers of pleasures more than of God:
5 Having an appearance indeed of godliness, but denying the power thereof. Now these avoid.
6 For of these sort are they who creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, who are led away with divers desires:
7 Ever learning, and never attaining to the knowledge of the truth.
8 Now as Jannes and Mambres resisted Moses, so these also resist the truth, men corrupted in mind, reprobate concerning the faith.
9 But they shall proceed no farther; for their folly shall be manifest to all men, as theirs also was.
10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, patience,
11 Persecutions, afflictions: such as came upon me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra: what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord delivered me.
12 And all that will live godly in Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution.
13 But evil men and seducers shall grow worse and worse: erring, and driving into error.
14 But continue thou in those things which thou hast learned, and which have been committed to thee: knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
15 And because from thy infancy thou hast known the holy scriptures, which can instruct thee to salvation, by the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice,
17 That the man of God may be perfect, furnished to every good work.
and from Romans 1 DR:
17 For the justice of God is revealed therein, from faith unto faith, as it is written: The just man liveth by faith.
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and injustice of those men that detain the truth of God in injustice:
19 Because that which is known of God is manifest in them. For God hath manifested it unto them.
20 For the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; his eternal power also, and divinity: so that they are inexcusable.
21 Because that, when they knew God, they have not glorified him as God, or given thanks; but became vain in their thoughts, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22 For professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.
23 And they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of the image of a corruptible man, and of birds, and of fourfooted beasts, and of creeping things.
24 Wherefore God gave them up to the desires of their heart, unto uncleanness, to dishonour their own bodies among themselves.
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie; and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26 For this cause God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature.
27 And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error.
28 And as they liked not to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them up to a reprobate sense, to do those things which are not convenient;
29 Being filled with all iniquity, malice, fornication, avarice, wickedness, full of envy, murder, contention, deceit, malignity, whisperers,
30 Detractors, hateful to God, contumelious, proud, haughty, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 Foolish, dissolute, without affection, without fidelity, without mercy.
32 Who, having known the justice of God, did not understand that they who do such things, are worthy of death; and not only they that do them, but they also that consent to them that do them.