As Paul finally takes up his so-called “fools discourse,” ironically, he boasts in weakness, not strength. While this portion of the fools discourse consists of three sets of weaknesses, Jewish pedigree, external sufferings, and internal stresses, the weight of this discourse is placed upon the immense amount of physical suffering Paul endured, including multiple near death experiences and extreme deprivations. The point in boasting in such weakness is not to tout his sufferings as a means of magnifying his personal grit; rather, Paul boasts in weakness to show that miseries suffered in the circumstance of serving Christ presents opportunity for the Lord to magnify His power to exalt His own glory. The application for the saints is to see that Paul’s pattern of weakness provides a model for how Christians are to deny themselves, take up their cross, and serve the Lord. The encouragement is, that just as the Lord magnified His power in Paul’s weakness, so the consolation of the saints is that they will come to know the power of God strengthening them in the midst of their weakness as they seek to build the kingdom of God.