12 Great as is his mercy, so also is his chastisement; he judges a person according to his or her deeds. 13 The sinner will not escape with plunder, and the patience of the godly will not be frustrated. 14 He makes room for every act of mercy; everyone receives in accordance with his or her deeds. 17 Do not say, "I am hidden from the Lord, and who from on high has me in mind? Among so many people I am unknown, for what am I in a boundless creation? 18 Lo, heaven and the highest heaven, the abyss and the earth, tremble at his visitation! 19 The very mountains and the foundations of the earth quiver and quake when he looks upon them. 20 But no human mind can grasp this, and who can comprehend his ways? 21 Like a tempest that no one can see, so most of his works are concealed. 22 Who is to announce his acts of justice? Or who can await them? For his decree is far off." 23 Such are the thoughts of one devoid of understanding; a senseless and misguided person thinks foolishly. 24 Listen to me, my child, and acquire knowledge, and pay close attention to my words. 25 I will impart discipline precisely and declare knowledge accurately.
1 It is necessary to go on boasting. Though it is not profitable, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago (whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows) was caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I know that this man (whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows) 4 was caught up into paradise and heard things too sacred to be put into words, things that a person is not permitted to speak. 5 On behalf of such an individual I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except about my weaknesses. 6 For even if I wish to boast, I will not be a fool, for I would be telling the truth, but I refrain from this so that no one may regard me beyond what he sees in me or what he hears from me, 7 even because of the extraordinary character of the revelations. Therefore, so that I would not become arrogant, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to trouble me—so that I would not become arrogant. 8 I asked the Lord three times about this, that it would depart from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” So then, I will boast most gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may reside in me. 10 Therefore I am content with weaknesses, with insults, with troubles, with persecutions and difficulties for the sake of Christ, for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.