In Memory of Elisabeth Elliot: 30 of Her Most Inspiring Quotes

elisabeth elliot quotes

Photo: www.elisabethelliot.org

On Sunday, Elisabeth Elliot passed away. She was a living testimony to the power of God’s grace, forgiveness, and unconditional love. As a young missionary, she traveled to Ecuador where she soon married fellow missionary Jim Elliot. Sensing the call to share the gospel with an unreached people group, Jim and four other missionaries made contact with the Aucas, a tribe living in the Ecuadorian jungles. Due to a tragic misunderstanding, all five were speared to death.

Elisabeth and the other widows remained in Ecuador where they continued the work of their husbands, sharing the gospel with the very people who were involved in their husbands’ murders. The martyrdom of these men, and the remarkable story of the village’s transformation, led to a an influx of young Christians entering missionary service in the middle of the twentieth century. Elisabeth went on to write numerous influential books on her husband’s life, her own ministry, and Christian living. She died at the age of 88.

In remembrance, we’ve gathered 30 of her most inspiring quotes. Share your favorites to celebrate the life and legacy of a woman who made an incalculable impact on Christianity around the world.

The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian makes me a different kind of woman.

Faith does not eliminate questions. But faith knows where to take them.

“I have one desire now – to live a life of reckless abandon for the Lord, putting all my energy and strength into it.

God never withholds from His child that which His love and wisdom call good. God’s refusals are always merciful—‘severe mercies’ at times, but mercies all the same. God never denies us our hearts’ desire except to give us something better.

Waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one’s thoughts.

Related post: 38 John Piper Quotes on the Life Not Wasted

Elisabeth Elliot (1926–2015)

Restlessness and impatience change nothing except our peace and joy. Peace does not dwell in outward things, but in the heart prepared to wait trustfully and quietly on Him who has all things safely in His hands.

There is nothing worth living for, unless it is worth dying for.

I do know that waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one’s thoughts. Its easy to talk oneself into a decision that has no permanence—easier sometimes than to wait patiently.

The will of God is not something you add to your life. It’s a course you choose. You either line yourself up with the Son of God . . . or you capitulate to the principle which governs the rest of the world.

To be a follower of the Crucified means, sooner or later, a personal encounter with the cross. And the cross always entails loss.

Leave it all in the Hands that were wounded for you.

One does not surrender a life in an instant. That which is lifelong can only be surrendered in a lifetime.

Related post: 30 Awesome Quotes from Charles Spurgeon

Worship is not an experience. Worship is an act, and this takes discipline. We are to worship ‘in spirit and in truth.’ Never mind about the feelings. We are to worship in spite of them.

When obedience to God contradicts what I think will give me pleasure, let me ask myself if I love him.

The will of God is never exactly what you expect it to be. It may seem to be much worse, but in the end it’s going to be a lot better and a lot bigger.

The life of faith is lived one day at a time, and it has to be lived—not always looked forward to as though the ‘real’ living were around the next corner. It is today for which we are responsible. God still owns tomorrow.

Elisabeth Elliot (1926–2015)

We never know what God has up His sleeve. You never know what might happen; you only know what you have to do now.

By trying to grab fulfillment everywhere, we find it nowhere.

It is God to whom and with whom we travel, and while He is the end of our journey, he is also at every stopping place.

Related post: Why “Fruitless” Ministries Are Never Truly Hopeless

The Word of God I think of as a straight edge, which shows up our own crookedness. We can’t really tell how crooked our thinking is until we line it up with the straight edge of Scripture.

It is in our acceptance of what is given that God gives Himself.

Our vision is so limited we can hardly imagine a love that does not show itself in protection from suffering. The love of God is of a different nature altogether. It does not hate tragedy. It never denies reality. It stands in the very teeth of suffering.

Elisabeth Elliot (1926–2015)

The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances.

Until the will and the affections are brought under the authority of Christ, we have not begun to understand, let alone to accept, his lordship.

If your goal is purity of heart, be prepared to be thought very odd.

Cruelty and wrong are not the greatest forces in the world. There is nothing eternal in them. Only love is eternal.

Don’t dig up in doubt what you planted in faith.

You can never lose what you have offered to Christ.

God has promised to supply our needs. What we don’t have now we don’t need now.

The work of God is done on God’s timetable. His answers to our prayers come always in time—his time. His thoughts are far higher than ours, his wisdom past understanding.

Elisabeth Elliot (1926–2015)


Comments

  1. Jim and Elisabeth Elliot were a major part of my spiritual development as a youth.

  2. Christopher Quek says:

    In an age when Scripture is compromised for the love of fame, fortune, and power, Elizabeth Elliot stands as a towering example of the true light to which all who love Christ are called.

  3. I have all her books! She was always an inspiration to me.

  4. Really liked her newsletters!

  5. Patti Hoffer says:

    Her books helped mold much of my thinking as a young Christian. Trust and obey was her message.

  6. One of my favorite authors as I grew up.

  7. Thank you for these marvelously wise word of a really influential lady!

  8. RIP sister Elliot we, will meet under the Tree of Life…

  9. My life long hero. How grateful I am for her books, her messages, the personal time I spent in her presence, her experiences. She lived what she believed and she believed the Word of God.

  10. so inspiring!

  11. She was one big light for God!!!!

  12. Evelyn Ruby says:

    Elizabeth influenced our daughter to avoid a tragic marriage. She decided she wanted, instead of her fiance, a man like Jim Elliot, who would love God even more than he loved her. God answered her prayer, and ours, and she has had a beautiful Christian marriage for over 15 years. Praise God for Elisabeth Elliot!

  13. Wise woman…thank you, Lord for sharing her with us…

  14. Dont dig up in doubt what you planted in faith: Elisabeth Elliott (1926-2015)

  15. May the Lord give the family strength during this time.

  16. Through her life and books she was some of my dearest company, fellowship, encouragement, and guidance.

  17. I really enjoyed listening to Elisabeth Elliot on the "Gateway to Joy" program when it aired on my lunch time, it was truly inspiring.

  18. wow what an amazing woman of God and love your spirit. Thank you Elisabeth for your service and God said good and faithful. Thank you for all the words of truth.

  19. Loved her radio program.

  20. My favorite quote from Elisabeth Elliot: "There is no safe place but in the will of God." So thankful for her wisdom.

  21. I do know that waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one’s thoughts. Its easy to talk oneself into a decision that has no permanence—easier sometimes than to wait patiently.–Rest in peace, Dear Sister; you were an inspiration!

  22. Beautiful quotation slides. Suggestion, add custom made quotation slides to the media of Logos Now and of course link them to the Illustration section of the Passage Guide.

  23. WOW

  24. What an inspiration her life was. What a joy to know she is now enjoying Heaven.

  25. Living close to the Atlantic coast, in New England, she once wrote of
    seeing a sign on the beach for the Lifeguards: “You have to go out;
    you don’t have to come back!” Such an incredible spiritual-life picture!
    One that she lived-out.

  26. Always amazed by this woman!

  27. Always amazed by this woman!

  28. Oh, I will miss her wisdom.

  29. I enjoyed this. I remember studying and learning about this sweet lady in school.

  30. This amazing woman along with her husband Jim have had a huge impact on my life. Grateful for her books she has written over the years and her love for God.

  31. Thank you for sharing this inspiring post about a beautiful woman of God.

  32. All of these quotes by Elisabeth are so touching!!! I well remember hearing her speak at the USCWM years ago. What a lady!!! <3

  33. Food for thought

  34. Amazing story, amazing woman who loved The Lord so faithfully. Thanks for sharing Mike & Cheryl… Love you x.

  35. "The work of God is done on God’s timetable. His answers to our prayers come always in time—his time. His thoughts are far higher than ours, his wisdom past understanding."


  36. The Word of God I think of as a straight edge, which shows up our own crookedness. We can’t really tell how crooked our thinking is until we line it up with the straight edge of Scripture.

  37. Such a powerful witness and influence!

  38. A real heroine of the faith. Appreciate this post. Very positive influence and inspiration to countless lives. She blessed me tremendously through her total reliance on her heavenly father. Rest in peace Elizabeth.

  39. A real heroine of the faith. Appreciate this post. Very positive influence and inspiration to countless lives. She blessed me tremendously through her total reliance on her heavenly father. Rest in peace Elizabeth.

  40. She inspired me so much!!! Their love for my country made me listen more attentive and her wisdom and boldness made me strong. Thank you for sharing… TRUTH!

  41. I got to meet her once, and I got to meet one of the men who killed her husband — he was sharing his story at the Billy Graham evangelism conference in Amsterdam in 2000.

  42. Thank you… I will put these on my wall in the coming weeks…She impacted my life since my college days

  43. Perhaps better than anyone has ever done, she summed up the husband/leader wife/help-meet relationship in one simple sentence. She said "Jim, you have to be right."

  44. What a thrill when the creator of the universe sent for her and will one day send for every believer still living

  45. She is one of my favorite authors and a hero of the faith. I loved her radio program, "Gateway to Joy." I can hear her now saying: "You are loved with an everlasting love, and underneath are the everlasting arms." Wonderful saint of God. Well done, thou good and faithful servant – Elisabeth Elliot. Enter into the joys of your Lord.

  46. absolutely wonderful….

  47. absolutely wonderful….

  48. Truly a life worth emulating – Elizabeth Elliot

  49. I never knew this women but from her quotes I can see she often meditated on God . . . a joy close to my heart. He is the only thing that matters in this ungodly world.

  50. Excellent!

  51. Elizabeth Elliot was one of the most inspiring and wise women ever to live. Her lifelong love for Jesus and compassion for the lost drove her to return as a missionary to the very people who murdered her beloved husband. Instead of wishing for them to burn in hell for what they took from her, she loved them, and taught them how to get to heaven. This is the spirit of forgiveness that Jesus inspires in those who are truly born again.
    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose." — Jim Elliot

  52. An inspiration to say the least. "Through Gates of Splendor";what a beautiful title!!

  53. An inspiration to say the least. "Through Gates of Splendor";what a beautiful title!!

  54. Our Heavenly Father has some very amazing children!

  55. What an amazing lady! Thank you for sharing your heart with us for so many years! Lord comfort her family at this time.

  56. One of the wisest mist faithful women of God. May her legacy live on in us until the day we all gather at the Throne of God. RIP

  57. She was very special to Robert and I.

  58. Her Bible study books have been a blessing to me. I remember well when her husband was killed. Her life has been a blessing to me.

  59. Profound wisdom….

  60. Such wisdom – sometimes I would read and just marvel at the depth of her love for Jesus

  61. My favorite quote: "It was unspeakably worth the wait."

  62. She has been an inspiration for decades in my life. a quote that I give her credit for is: "Just do the next right thing." Was that Elisabeth Elliot?

  63. Wonderful quotes from the life of a great woman of God.

  64. Wonderful quotes from the life of a great woman of God.

  65. One perfect example of the benefit of being intentionally intergenerational. What wisdom!

  66. "Through Gates of Splendor" is one of my favourite book, which really changed my mentality and challenged me in many ways.

  67. "Through Gates of Splendor" is one of my favourite book, which really changed my mentality and challenged me in many ways.

  68. Can you imagine the party when she finally stepped through those Gates of Splendor?
    What an awesome God we serve!

  69. Thank you so much Mary Sue Phelps for sharing this with me. You'll never know how needed an timely this is. Crystal Hall was just saying she needed some momma Mary time and you've been on my mind lately also. People like Elizabeth and you are an inspiration and shining light in this world seemingly filled with distractions and deception. We love you Mary.

  70. Precious gems from one who truly walks the talk. In a generation where sound bytes are more important than sound thoughts, these are really precious. May her wisdom that comes from her whole-hearted devotion to the Lord continue to inspire one generation after another.

  71. I must share these thoughts!

  72. Thank you, Elizabeth. Your words and wisdom helped me when I was at a great turning point in my journey through life.

  73. Thank you, Elizabeth. Your words and wisdom helped me when I was at a great turning point in my journey through life.

  74. What an amazing life & awesome legacy!

  75. I remember these folks from when I was young and it touched me deeply then, someday I will meet them in person.

  76. Right now, what is 'dearly missing' here in this world, heaven just earn it where eternity just began.!

  77. I was 36 years old before I heard Mrs. Elliot speak on the radio. I was moved by the passion with which she spoke about the close and deep love her Savior had exibited to her through the years of missionary work and eventualy widowhood and raising a family, with a level of forgiveness I had not witnessed before. She exhibited the full expression of willing sacrifice to her God. 'The Names of God' is one of her books that revalutionized my walk. Well done good and faithful servant.

  78. Read your favorite quotes by clicking the link below
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  79. Read your favorite quotes by clicking the link below
    http://www.sayquote.com

  80. Thanks for sharing this with me Nancy. I will copy it and hand it out at our next WOM meeting.

  81. I do not think this was originally by Elisabeth Elliot, but she quoted it often.

    Do The Next Thing

    "At an old English parsonage down by the sea,
    there came in the twilight a message to me.
    Its quaint Saxon legend deeply engraven that,
    as it seems to me,
    teaching from heaven.
    And all through the hours the quiet words ring,
    like a low inspiration,
    'Do the next thing.'
    Many a questioning,
    many a fear,
    many a doubt hath its quieting here.
    Moment by moment,
    let down from heaven,
    time,
    opportunity,
    guidance are given.
    Fear not tomorrow,
    child of the King,
    trust that with Jesus,
    do the next thing.
    Do it immediately,
    do it with prayer,
    do it reliantly,
    casting all care.
    Do it with reverence,
    tracing His hand,
    who placed it before thee with earnest command.
    Stayed on omnipotence,
    safe 'neath His wing,
    leave all resultings,
    do the next thing.
    Looking to Jesus,
    ever serener,
    working or suffering be thy demeanor,
    in His dear presence, the rest of His calm,
    the light of His countenance,
    be thy psalm.
    Do the next thing."

  82. Couldn't have said it better. She has been very instrumental to my spiritual growth. I have missed her broadcasts very much. She has left an eternal impact with her gracious words of wisdom.

  83. Did you know that you can hear her on the BBN app? Her radio programs are available in their "on demand" section. I have LOVED relistening to these programs that meant so much to me as a young mom when I desperately needed a mentor.

  84. Thank you

  85. Mina Roller says:

    Excellent post. Love it.

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  2. […] Elisabeth Elliott went to heaven this week.  Here’s a list of some of her most quotable thoughts. […]