"So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day." 2 Corinthians 4:16 NRSV
Think about a time in your life when you were discouraged. Perhaps it was a job that wasn't going well, a decline in your health, a threat to a relationship, or only fatigue and exhaustion. Sometimes it may even be hard to know why; we just feel discouraged. When we are in that state, it is easy to let it affect all the other things in our lives that are going right. While no one likes feeling discouraged, it is a normal part of our lives.
Today's scripture gives us hope. Renewal of our inner nature, our souls, is taking place daily, even when the world around us seems to crumble. Just as sleep refreshes our bodies for a new day, the Holy Spirit refreshes our souls. Even in those days when we are in the throes of discouragement, in our darkest valleys, we are blessed with spiritual freshness. We find renewed hope in these familiar words of Psalm 23:2-3, "He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul."
God, we give you thanks for this day you have given us. We are thankful for the restoration of our bodies from sleep and are grateful for our souls' daily renewal. We welcome your presence in our lives and surrender ourselves to you this day that we may be your instruments. Through you, we can meet the opportunities, challenges, and yes, even the discouragements or this day. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.