When we’re stuck in the middle of difficult circumstances, it’s hard to focus on anything but the pain of being there. “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose.” (Phil 2:12-13)
In this instance, the words “work out” is like mining or farming, digging down in to get the seed God planted in us at salvation. He has planted within us the will to act as He desires us to. When we don’t “feel” like we want to be obedient, it’s because our hearts have become calloused or hardened. The prescription? Dig in to His Word and pray! Work out our salvation–not by works–but by being obedient to Him!
And then we must have the perspective that whatever we are going through is so that He can develop us “to fulfill His good purpose”. We must humble ourselves, knowing He knows His plans, and be malleable enough for Him to work in and through us for His kingdom, which He promises to do if we only ask. “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Ps 51:10)