Were it not for the mention of God’s grace, the apostle Paul would almost sound boastful that he worked harder than the other apostles. Even though it’s true, it’s still not necessarily something you want to brag about. In Paul’s case, it was part of his testimony, and he was certainly not exaggerating, but in actuality, he’s speaking of God’s grace.
Notice that the word grace is used three times in this brief passage, and notice that Paul doesn’t simply receive the grace of God in a passive sense. He does something with it. He goes to work for the Kingdom of God and exhausts himself for God’s purposes.
Yet, he still credits God’s grace even for his ability to labor. Paul saw God’s grace as something empowering, and to have God’s favor upon your life meant that God was going to enable you to fulfill your calling and maximize your gifts.
You probably won’t be involved in anything at the level of the apostle Paul, but the passage is given to us to inspire our faith for abundant labor for the Kingdom of God in the areas in which we are gifted. No matter what field, or vocation, you choose, you should see it as Paul did—you should see it as given to you by the grace of God.
God desires that you prosper in all that you put your hand to.