Living By Faith Blog


Biblical, battle-tested, real-life help for "living by faith in the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20). — Steve Fuller

A Toothache and the Fight of Faith

Out of nowhere

There I was — minding my own business — doing some reading.

Suddenly I felt a SHARP pain in my tooth.  Ouch!

It lasted maybe 5 seconds — and then was gone.

But an hour or two later — it happened again.  And then again.

And it struck me — I have a problem.

A feeling of dread

Now I know — a toothache is tiny compared to what some of you are facing.

So call me a wimp.

But as I felt this pain I started wondering —

  • Is God punishing me?
  • What if it’s really serious?
  • What if I face big medical or financial decisions?
  • How much is this going to cost?

And my heart filled with dread, fear, and anxiety.

The root cause

When I feel dread, fear, and anxiety — it’s because I’m not trusting God’s promises.

You can see that in Scriptures like Psa 56:3; Isa 12:2; Mark 4:40.

So it’s not going to help if I —

  • think about something else (have you tried that?)
  • say “it’s all going to be fine” (says who? and what does that mean?)
  • distract myself with TV (how long can that last?)

— because none of those point me to God’s promises.

What I needed was to fight the fight of faith.

So I tried to answer each question by praying over a promise —

Is God punishing me?

It’s easy to think trials are punishments from God.

But that stirs fear — because it means that in this trial God is against me.

But the promise of God’s Word is —

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Rom 8:1)

Why no condemnation?

Because Jesus took upon Himself all the condemnation I deserve — so forever I will only know God’s love.

So as I prayed over this truth — I saw that God was loving me in this trial (Rom 8:38-39).

The dread started to lift.

What if it’s really serious?

It doesn’t help to think — that probably won’t happen.

Because then all I’ve got is — I probably don’t need to panic.

Not helpful.

And God’s Word gives a better answer —

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. (2Cor 4:17)

Which means God has ordained this tooth problem to give me even more joy in Him — now and forever.

He could do this by healing me from the tooth problem — or by satisfying and helping me during the tooth problem.

So I prayed for healing — and rested in His sovereign goodness.

The dread lifted more.

What if I face big medical or financial decisions?

Don’t laugh.  I know it’s only a toothache.

But this is where my mind went.

So — let’s say I do have to make some big decisions — what does God promise?

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. (James 1:5)

Even if the decision is big — tough — complex —

God promises that when I ask He will give all the wisdom I need — generously and without reproach.

As I prayed over that promise — decision-dread left.

But I had one last pocket of dread —

How much is this going to cost?

I have been preaching on Jesus’ promises about money from Matt 6.

So these promises were fresh in my mind — especially Matt 6:33 —

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

As I prayed about this — I knew and saw and felt that God was in control of this toothache.

He would decide how much it cost.

And even if it was expensive — He would provide every penny we needed.

As I prayed over that promise — the last bit of dread lifted.

The result

It took maybe 15 minutes.

But my heart changed from dread, fear, and anxiety — to peace, strength, and hope.

Not by looking on the bright side.

Not by thinking positively.

But by–

  • turning to Jesus Christ as I am —
  • pleading for His heart-changing power —
  • and praying over His promises —
  • until I feel the Holy Spirit strengthening my faith and changing my heart.

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And here’s some related posts you might find helpful —


(Picture by Conor Lawless on everystockphoto.)

Category: Problems or Trials, Stories from My Life


7 Responses

  1. I so appreciate the encouragement in this! It is so easy for me to respond to my fears with trying to avoid thinking about it, saying it will be fine, etc. I forget so quickly that this is not the way to handle it. And you’re so right, it doesn’t really help anyways! Thanks for the encouragement to turn to the promises and take every thought (fear) captive to the promises of Christ! By the way, how is your tooth feeling? I’ll be praying for you.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Hi Breanna —

      I’m so glad this encouraged you — and thanks for letting me know.

      And isn’t it easy to respond to these situations with something less than earnest faith in Jesus Christ?

      And thanks for asking about the tooth — the pain actually started going away over the next few days. I’m waiting to see if it disappears entirely. That would be a great kindness from the Father.

      He is worth it all,

      Steve Fuller

  2. kbutler says:

    I have a toothache right now as I speak. And when I came to this site, I was comfort that God is with me.
    Thank you for your story. It changed my life by giving me that boost I needed to turn to God in prayer.

  3. Jcoates says:

    Thank you I have been asking Jesus to help me but then I doubt and think this is nothing to concern him about but I was dreading the pain I could not eat I could not function thinking only of the pain asking God why do you just take it away I even say lord you put back on Malcus ear when peter cut it off I know that God can do anything but there is a purpose for everything you were not alone I Love the Lord and believe that he can heal my whole tooth and restore it it. but will he I keep asking my self.

  4. Fab says:

    May God bless you. As you never know how something as “little” as a toothache can change your whole perspective on ones relationship with God.
    I have been experiencing tooth pain for a few days now and randomly typed “biblical view on toothache” (lol) and this brought me here and I have been so blessed by reading this.
    Thank you very much and may God bless you for sharing his word and showing and reminding us how our “big” problems are very “little” in the eyes of God.

  5. A says:

    I have a bad cavity in one of my top wisdom tooth. No toothache (thank God), but I have experienced pain with it in the past. I need a lot of dental work done but lack of money and anxiety is keep me stuck. I’ve been mediating on scriptures and praying that God will take care of my teeth and gums. I definitely don’t want to irresponsible with my dental health. I know I struggle a lot with making even small decisions because of anxiety but I pray for wisdom too.

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