Years ago, after walking the streets of New York City—worn out, tired in soul and body—I developed mononucleosis. I ended up in the hospital for six weeks and developed a growth in my throat. I could not swallow and sometimes I couldn't even catch my breath. My weight soon fell to less than 115 pounds. Since I could not travel, all the income to the ministry quickly dried up and it looked like the end of Teen Challenge!

I remember the night I cried out in desperation, "Lord, I give up! Teen Challenge is all Yours. I am just going to trust You. If You want the ministry’s doors to close, that's Your business. But, please, God, get this thing out of my throat!" Within an hour I coughed up a fleshy growth the size of a large walnut.

I left the hospital in a day or two and soon got my strength back. And I discovered that while I was away, Teen Challenge had survived! I do not know how the Lord did it, but while I was ill, the staff began to trust the Lord instead of looking to me. And that's what God was trying to accomplish!

Beloved, your troubles are not unforeseen accidents. No matter what you are going through, no matter how deep your hurt, God is right on target and right on time.

You may think the devil came in and interrupted God's plan for your life, saying, "Let me at him." But no, that is not the case. It does not matter if you did something stupid or careless. If you have repented, the Lord can harness everything meant for evil and turn it around for good.

Don't focus on your past mistakes—get your eyes off the monsters. God promised to restore to you all the years the cankerworm has eaten. Encourage yourself with these words and let them become your life and hope: "My God can do anything. He has not forgotten me. No one can change His plans. No matter how bad things look, He has everything under control!"