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88 Quotes from Elisabeth Elliot — Inspiration for Daring Daughters

“I have one desire now — to live a life of reckless abandon for the Lord, putting all my energy and strength into it.” – Elisabeth Elliot (1926-2015).


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(Note: Be sure to watch the YouTube music video of Elisabeth Elliot’s life — at the end of this post — and the powerful full-circle testimony of the five American missionaries who gave their lives “For the Sake of the Call” — and how the story ended, for God’s glory, as told by musician, Steven Curtis Chapman.)



At Daring Daughters, Elisabeth Elliot has always been one of our missionary heroes. We highly recommend her books and thank God for her example.

As we look at her life and her writings, we can learn so much. We may or may not be called to become foreign missionaries or world-renown authors, but we can all live with hearts completely devoted to God and be willing to obey whatever God has for us. When our lives are over, may our specific assignments be completed and may our lives be a testimony in the next generation (and in eternity) for God’s glory.


elisabeth elliot - 3Elisabeth Elliot lived 88 years for the glory of God. 

Born in Belgium to missionary parents, Elisabeth was raised with a fervent heart for the Lord and His purposes. After moving to the United States, she studied to become a missionary at Wheaton College, where she met Jim Elliot, her first husband, best remembered as one of five American missionaries killed by a fierce tribe in Ecuador, the Auca’s (now known as the Huaorini people). 

Together with her young daughter, newly widowed Elisabeth chose to forgive and to face her fears, living for two years among the very people who had killed her husband (along with Rachel Saint, the sister of missionary pilot Nate Saint, also killed by this group)As a result, many of these people from this remote tribal village came to understand the love of Jesus Christ and the message of the Gospel.


“There is nothing worth living for,
unless it is worth dying for.” –Elisabeth Elliot


Through the years, Elisabeth Elliot became a respected and influential voice across the generations — for godly womanhood and purity, for Christian marriage and family life, and for the needs of global missions and God’s Great Commission.

To honor the 88 years of Elisabeth Elliot’s life, we have selected 88 of her inspirational quotes. May we all be inspired to live our lives, as she did, for God’s eternal purposes. 

 


 

Elisabeth Elliot with her daughter, Valerie Elliot Shepard

 

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8 Quotes about Faith in God

  1. “Faith does not eliminate questions. But faith knows where to take them.”
  2. “Heaven is not here, it’s There. If we were given all we wanted here, our hearts would settle for this world rather than the next.”
  3. “God is forever luring us up and away from this one, wooing us to Himself and His still invisible Kingdom, where we will certainly find what we so keenly long for.”
  4. “Where does your security lie? Is God your refuge, your hiding place, your stronghold, your shepherd, your counselor, your friend, your redeemer, your Savior, your guide? If He is, you don’t need to search any further for security.”
  5. “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.”
  6. “It is today for which are responsible. God still owns tomorrow.”
  7. “Faith’s most severe tests come not when we see nothing, but when we see a stunning array of evidence that seems to prove our faith in vain.”
  8. “God is God. Because He is God, He is worthy of my trust and obedience. I will find rest nowhere but in His holy will, a will that is unspeakably beyond my largest notions of what He is up to.”

 
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Quotes referring to the Cross

  1. “To be a follower of the Crucified means, sooner or later, a personal encounter with the cross. And the cross always entails loss.”
  2. “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.”
  3. “The love of God did not protect His own Son. The cross was the proof of His love – that He gave that Son, that He let Him go to Calvary’s cross, though “legions of angels” might have rescued Him. He will not necessarily protect us – not from anything it takes to make us like His Son. A lot of hammering and chiseling and purifying by fire will have to go into the process.”
  4. “Leave it all in the Hands that were wounded for you.”
  5. “Faith is not an instinct. It certainly is not a feeling — feelings don’t help much when you’re in the lions’ den or handing on a wooden Cross.”
  6. “Faith is not inferred from the happy way things work. It is an act of will, a choice, based on the unbreakable Word of a God who cannot lie, and who showed us what love and obedience and sacrifice mean, in the person of Jesus Christ.”
  7. “Does God ask us to do what is beneath us? This question will never trouble us again if we consider the Lord of heaven taking a towel and washing feet.”
  8. “We want to avoid suffering, death, sin, ashes. But we live in a world crushed and broken and torn, a world God Himself visited to redeem. We receive His poured-out  life, and being allowed the high privilege of suffering with Him, may then pour ourselves out for others.”

 
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8 Quotes on Order and Time Management

  1. “There is always time to do the will of God. If we are too busy to do that, we are too busy.”
  2. “The way you keep your house, the way you organize your time, the care you take in your personal appearance, the things you spend your money on, all speak loudly about what you believe.”
  3. “The beauty of thy peace shines forth in an ordered life.”
  4. “A disordered life speaks loudly of disorder in the soul.”
  5. “One reason we are so harried and hurried is that we make yesterday and tomorrow our business, when all that legitimately concerns us is today.”
  6. “The way we live ought to manifest the truth of what we believe. A messy life speaks of a messy and incoherent faith.”
  7. “The God who created, names and numbers the stars in the heavens also numbers the hairs of my head. He pays attention to very big things and to very small ones. What matters to me matters to Him, and that changes my life.”
  8. “If we really have too much to do, there are some items on the agenda which God did not put there. Let us submit the list to Him and ask Him to indicate which items we must delete.”

 
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8 Quotes on Loneliness, Patience and Trust

  1. “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.”
  2. “Its easy to talk oneself into a decision that has no permanence – easier sometimes than to wait patiently.” 
  3. “Loneliness is a required course for leadership.”
  4. “When ours [our plans] are interrupted, His are not. His plans are proceeding exactly as scheduled, moving us always (including those minutes or hours or years which seem most useless or wasted or unendurable) ‘toward the goal of true maturity’ (Rom 12:2).”
  5. “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.”
  6. “I realized that the deepest spiritual lessons are not learned by His letting us have our way in the end, but by His making us wait, bearing with us in love and patience until we are able to honestly to pray what He taught His disciples to pray: Thy will be done.” 
  7. “Worry is the antithesis of trust. You simply cannot do both. They are mutually exclusive.”
  8. “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.”

 
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8 Quotes on Love and Purity

  1. “If your goal is purity of heart, be prepared to be thought very odd.” 
  2. “I am convinced that the human heart hungers for constancy. In forfeiting the sanctity of sex by casual, nondiscriminatory “making out” and “sleeping around,” we forfeit something we cannot well do without. There is dullness, monotony, sheer boredom in all of life when virginity and purity are no longer protected and prized.”
  3. “By trying to grab fulfillment everywhere, we find it nowhere.”
  4. “Women still dream and hope, pin their emotions on some man who doesn’t reciprocate, and end up in confusion.” 
  5. “I took it for granted that there must be a few men left in the world who had that kind of strength. I assumed that those men would also be looking for women with principle. I did not want to be among the marked-down goods on the bargain table, cheap because they’d been pawed over. Crowds collect there. It is only the few who will pay full price. ‘You get what you pay for.’” 
  6. “Unless a man is prepared to ask a woman to be his wife, what right has he to claim her exclusive attention? Unless she has been asked to marry him, why would a sensible woman promise any man her exclusive attention? If, when the time has come for a commitment, he is not man enough to ask her to marry him, she should give him no reason to presume that she belongs to him.” 
  7. “A spirit of restlessness and resistance can never wait, but one who believes he is loved with an everlasting love, and knows that underneath are the everlasting arms, will find strength and peace.”
  8. “Of all things difficult to rule, none were more so than my will and affections.” 

 
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8 Quotes about Prayer and God’s Guidance

  1. “The will of God is not something you add to your life. It’s a course you choose.”
  2. “You either line yourself up with the Son of God…or you capitulate to the principle which governs the rest of the world.”
  3. “Sometimes life is so hard you can only do the next thing. Whatever that is just do the next thing.God will meet you there.”
  4. “Experience has taught me that the Shepherd is far more willing to show His sheep the path than the sheep are to follow. He is endlessly merciful, patient, tender, and loving. If we, His stupid and wayward sheep, really want to be led, we will without fail be led. Of that I am sure.”
  5. “I have one desire now – to live a life of reckless abandon for the Lord, putting all my energy and strength into it.”
  6. “Does it make sense to pray for guidance about the future if we are not obeying in the thing that lies before us today? How many momentous events in Scripture depended on one person’s seemingly small act of obedience!”
  7. “Rest assured: Do what God tells you to do now, and, depend upon it, you will be shown what to do next.”
  8. “We never know what God has up His sleeve. You never know what might happen; you only know what you have to do now.”

 
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8 Quotes about Suffering and Trusting God

  1. “Of one thing I am perfectly sure: God’s story never ends with ‘ashes.”
  2. “I am not a theologian or a scholar, but I am very aware of the fact that pain is necessary to all of us.”
  3. “There are those who insist that it is a very bad thing to question God. To them, “why?” is a rude question. That depends, I believe, on whether it is an honest search, in faith, for His meaning, or whether it is the challenge of unbelief and rebellion.”
  4. “Worry is the antithesis of trust. You simply cannot do both. They are mutually exclusive.”
  5. “I seek the lessons God wants to teach me, and that means that I ask why.”
  6. “Do you often feel like parched ground, unable to produce anything worthwhile? I do. When I am in need of refreshment, it isn’t easy to think of the needs of others. But I have found that if, instead of praying for my own comfort and satisfaction, I ask the Lord to enable me to give to others, an amazing thing often happens – I find my own needs wonderfully met. Refreshment comes in ways I would never have thought of, both for others, and then, incidentally, for myself.”
  7. “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.”
  8. “In my own life, I think I can honestly say that out of the deepest pain has come the strongest conviction of the presence of God and the love of God.”

 
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8 Quotes about Surrender to God and Sacrifice

  1. “One does not surrender a life in an instant. That which is lifelong can only be surrendered in a lifetime.”
  2. “Maturity starts with the willingness to give oneself.”
  3. “We are not meant to die merely in order to be dead. God could not want that for the creatures to whom He has given the breath of life. We die in order to live.” 
  4. “Freedom begins way back. It begins not with doing what you want but with doing what you ought – that is, with discipline.”
  5. “I have one desire now – to live a life of reckless abandon for the Lord, putting all my energy and strength into it.”
  6. “When obedience to God contradicts what I think will give me pleasure, let me ask myself if I love Him.”
  7. “If my life is surrendered to God, all is well. Let me not grab it back, as though it were in peril in His hand but would be safer in mine!”
  8. “I realized that the deepest spiritual lessons are not learned by His letting us have our way in the end, but by His making us wait, bearing with us in love and patience until we are able to honestly to pray what He taught His disciples to pray: Thy will be done.”

 
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8 Quotes on Womanhood and Marriage

  1. “The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, But the fact that I am a Christian does make me a different kind of woman.”
  2. “If you are married, then accept that. Accept the husband that God has given you. If you are single, accept your singleness and take it as if today was the last day of your life. Don’t be looking constantly to the future.”
  3. “I believe a woman, in order to be a good wife, must be (among other things) both sensual and maternal.”
  4. “It is a naive sort of feminism that insists that women prove their ability to do all the things that men do. This is a distortion and a travesty. Men have never sought to prove that they can do all the things women do. Why subject women to purely masculine criteria? Women can and ought to be judged by the criteria of femininity, for it is in their femininity that they participate in the human race. And femininity has its limitations. So has masculinity. That is what we’ve been talking about. To do this is not to do that. To be this is not to be that. To be a woman is not to be a man. To be married is not to be single – which may mean not to have a career. To marry this man is not to marry all the others. A choice is a limitation.”
  5. “…my plea is let me be a woman, holy through and through, asking for nothing but what God wants to give me.”
  6. “To understand the meaning of womanhood we have to start with God. If He is indeed “Creator of all things visible and invisible” He is certainly in charge of all things, visible and invisible, stupendous and minuscule, magnificent and trivial. God has to be in charge of details if He is going to be in charge of the overall design.”
  7. “I remember what Jim wrote to me in one of his letter: ‘Let not our longing slay the appetite of our living.’ And I think there are a lot of single women who are allowing their longing to slay the appetite of their living. They are not throwing their heart and soul into the will of God for today, because they are simply dying inside for something that God has not given them.”
  8. “Let Me be a Woman.” (Title of a book written by Elisabeth Elliot)

 
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8 Quotes on World Missions and Christian Service

  1. “There is nothing worth living for, unless it is worth dying for.”
  2. “When the time comes to die, make sure that all you have to do is die!” ~Jim Elliot”― (from The Journals of Jim Eliot, written by Elisabeth Elliot)
  3. “This job has been given to me to do. Therefore, it is a gift. Therefore, it is a privilege. Therefore, it is an offering I may make to God. Therefore, it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him. Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God’s way. In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness.”
  4. “We are not meant to die merely in order to be dead. God could not want that for the creatures to whom He has given the breath of life. We die in order to live.”
  5. “He (Jim) was given new assurance, and wrote to his parents of his intention to go to Ecuador. Understandably, they, with others who knew Jim well, wondered if perhaps his ministry might not be more effective in the United States, where so many know so little of the Bible’s real message. He replied:  “I dare not stay home while Quichuas [and I would add, unreached and unengaged peoples group; natalia] perish. What if the well-filled church in the homeland needs stirring? They have the Scriptures, Moses, and the prophets, and a whole lot more. Their condemnation is written on their bank books and in the dust of their Bible covers.” (from Through Gates of Splendor, a missions book by Elisabeth Elliot).
  6. “[Amy Carmichael's] great longing was to have a “single eye” for the glory of God. Whatever might blur the vision God had give her of His work, whatever could distract or deceive or tempt other to seek anything but the Lord Jesus Himself she tried to eliminate.” (from A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael, a missionary biography written by Elisabeth Elliot).
  7. “. . . I have found that if, instead of praying for my own comfort and satisfaction, I ask the Lord to enable me to give to others, an amazing thing often happens — I find my own needs wonderfully met. Refreshment comes n ways I would never have though of, both for others, and the, incidentally, for myself.”
  8. “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.” 

 
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8 Quotes on Worship and Wholehearted Devotion to God

  1. “Worship is not an experience. Worship is an act, and this takes discipline.”
  2. “Lead me, Lord, to the Rock that is higher than I. Let me hear your word, give me grace to obey, to build steadily, stone upon stone, day by day, to do what You say. Establish my heart where floods have no power to overwhelm, for Christ’s sake. Amen.”
  3. “A broken heart is a reminder of our only source of power.”
  4. “Very often (nearly always, I’m afraid) when I come to church my feelings are uppermost in my mind. This is natural. We are human, we are “selves,” and it takes no effort at all to feel. But worship is not feeling. 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. Finding myself scattered in all directions and in need of corralling like so many skittish calves, I kneel before the service begins and ask to be delivered from a vague preoccupation with myself and my own concerns and to be turned, during this short hour, to God.”
  5. “We are to worship ‘in spirit and in truth.’ Never mind about the feelings. We are to worship in spite of them.”
  6. “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.”
  7. “God is God. Because he is God, He is worthy of my trust and obedience. I will find rest nowhere but in His holy will that is unspeakably beyond my largest notions of what he is up to.”
  8. “To love God is to love His will. It is to wait quietly for life to be measured by One who knows us through and through. It is to be content with His timing and His wise appointment.”

 


Here is Elisabeth Elliot’s testimony as told by Christian musician, Steven Curtis Chapman

 

What is ONE Elisabeth Elliot quote that stands out to you? Or if you’ve read her books, which is your favorite?

 


 

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