Purposeful Faith

The Difference Between Fear and Pain

POST BY: Maria Fulough

What is the difference between fear and pain anyway?

Often times they feel the same, and once the fear train leaves the station of our minds it surely feels like a painful tortuous journey.

Fear even affects us physically.  Our heart rates rise, we get less patient, more stressed, more reactionary.  All sounds like pain to me.  But sit with me a minute while I explain to why this makes me so angry at fear.

Recently I was sitting in an ER room.  Doubled over in pain and bleeding. Over and over I got the same question, “How many pregnancies have you had?”

I gulped.

I could hardly answer the question.


7 pregnancies.

They nod, “Mm Hm, and how many children?”

I have 4 living children.

More gulps.

This my friends, this is pain.  This is life hit at you and one way or another you can do nothing about it.  Completely out of control are so many things and when they come sometimes there is nothing to do but cry, and hurt, and allow God’s mercies to provide.

Exactly!  You say, this is exactly why we fear!  We fear because we know times like this are coming and we dread it and we hate it and know nothing else to do but to fear it.

With all the tenderness, love, and compassion this heart of mine can muster I say No!  This, my friends, is exactly why we don’t fear.  Painless and joy free moments are too precious.  The seasons between the hurt must be coveted, enjoyed, savored, and stored up.  Fear fabricates our own pain and wastes away the happy moments that we have.

Fear takes and steals and lies until we look back and see that those days we were in were good days.  This makes me hate fear the most.

I wonder friend, where are you with fear?  I once lived in a way where I coddled my fears.  I held them tight, allowed them in, and never told them to leave.  I thought that fear was not optional.  Turns out it is, turns out fear is very optional.

Read with me John 14:27:

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Did you catch what Jesus said?  That small little word “let” changes everything for us.  Jesus says clearly do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Jesus was about to go to the cross, the very next day the disciples would watch their Teacher be murdered.  Most of them would end up dying for their faith in Christ and becoming martyrs.  Sounds like to me they had much they could fear!

So then I have to come to the end of reason and ask myself the question: which do I really trust more the facts of the circumstances or the supernatural promise of peace from the lips of my Savior?

Arm in arm my friends we can make a stand against fear in our lives.  We can admit to ourselves the difference between fear and real pain and we can choose a life waged war against the self-fabricated pain of fear.

Friends, may you be encouraged, you have the power of the living God already in you and it wants to give you the strength and the courage to not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

At the age of 35, Maria Furlough’s feeling insecure about what everyone else thinks is finally busted. All the worrying, the insecurity, inconfidence, fear, and the tiny lies that once consumed her – those things are gone. And it feels good.  Once upon a time she was a woman who sat fearful, crippled by insecurities and only tiptoeing into the call that God had upon her life. Then Gideon came, and God used that little baby to change her from the inside out.

She has been writing and teaching Bible studies for 14 years and currently writes on the blog True Worth at www.mytrueworth.org.

Buy her book, Breaking The Fear Cycle on Amazon.

About author View all posts Author website


Kelly, a fun-loving, active and spunky mom of two rambunctious toddlers, spends her days pushing swings, changing diapers and pursuing the Lord with all her heart. Called a "Cheerleader of Faith", Kelly's greatest desire is to help women live passionately, purposefully and unencumbered for the Lord.

Read more about Kelly

2 CommentsLeave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *