II Corinthians 12
Why does Paul go on boasting when he writes, “there is nothing to be gained from it” (verse 1)? I think he means that nothing is to be gained for him, because indeed Christ’s power rests on him in his weakness (verse 9). It’s difficult to view oneself as strongest in the midst of “weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities” (verse 10), but that’s what Paul writes.
Even when he begins to chastise the Corinthians for their lack of discipline, he says that God may humble him, not them. He is afraid that the influence he thought he had — the good he thought he worked in the power of the gospel — was for naught.
II Corinthians 13
Paul really is desperate that the Corinthians come out of their sin and into the light.
“Has not man a hard service on earth, and are not his days like the days of a hired hand?
I never know what I’m supposed to take away from the speeches of Job and his friends.