Paul always knew that persecution for the Christian faith could come upon him. He himself had been a chief persecutor of the church in its early days. But at Lystra, on his first missionary journey, it fell upon him violently, as he was dragged outside the city and stoned to death, or so the crowd thought.
Whether he had died and was miraculously brought to life again, or whether he only appeared to be dead, we are not told. There is a divine silence on this matter, almost as if to say that this was one of those deeply private moments between Paul and God and where we are not invited to go. Many scholars believe that the event of a "man in Christ" being caught up to "paradise" was actually autobiographical and described Paul's spiritual experience during this stoning (2 Corinthians 12:2-4). That man "heard inexpressible things, things that a man is not permitted to tell."
Whether it was Paul or not, it underscores this matter of a private faith. Sometimes God moves in us in a deeply personal way and we cannot find the words to describe it all. But what we do learn, from other passages, is that to be with God is to be in the presence of divine love, and it is God's divine love that heals our hurts, sooths our fears, and gives courage and endurance to our hearts. We endure here because we are assured of his love for us. If you want more courage, grow in the knowledge of his love.