Quite frequently, I come across teachings such as Six Ways of Improving Your Prayer Life or Nine Keys to Happiness. These step by step, "hot to" teachings can be beneficial, but let us skip the list just for today and look at the issue from a different perspective.
Ephesians 6:10 says we are to be strong in the Lord. In other words, whatever strength we have comes from Him and, of course, whatever strength we need will come from Him. Let us consider this.
God is the giver of the gifts we need--physical and spiritual. He gives us grace. He gives us wisdom. He gives us mercy. He gives us peace. He gives us strength. As I see it, God is quite generous and He wants us to have an abundance of grace, wisdom, mercy, peace, and strength. So why are we often in short supply of these spiritual blessings? The problem is not with the Giver. We are the problem. We are reluctant in holding out our hands to receive.
God wants to bless us. He has exactly what we need to be happy. And if we are to be happy, we must learn to accept the particular brand of happiness He gives us. The problem, again, is us. God offers what we need, but all too often, we ignore the blessings we need for the blessings we want. We convince ourselves that the only way we can be happy and content is to have a lot of money or marry the perfect spouse or engage in the perfect career. And so our happiness is deferred until we have those things which I we erroneously believe are necessary for our true contentment.
How are we to be strong in the Lord? I do not think there is a five step or a seven step or a nine step process. We grow strong in the Lord by leaning on Him--relying on Him--and maintaining a close and intimate and personal relationship with Him. Whatever we need, He is ready to supply, but we must set aside our own preconceived notions as to what these blessings will look like and give Him a free hand to do as He will for our good.
This is easier said than done, for God may very well place us in some terribly uncomfortable situations in order to accomplish His will for our greater good. I cannot speak for you, but I do not like being placed in stressful, difficult, trying situations. I want everything handed to me on a silver platter. In truth, not all of God's blessings come on a silver platter. Some come bathed in tears or bundled in pain and suffering.
Let's face it--some medicines taste nasty, but after the initial unpleasantness, the healing begins.
You want God's strength? He will give you His strength, but He may first place you in some thorny situations in order to accomplish His will. I wish I could tell you otherwise, but I must be truthful. God has some rather novel ways of growing His saints. Some of His methods may appear heavy-handed, but, in the end, He knows what we need and He knows exactly how to accomplish His will for our lives.