Learning from Elisabeth Elliot

Elisabeth Elliot is an amazing woman. Her writings continue to inspire me. She turned great tragedy (the brutal death of her husband) and used it as an opportunity to trust God and strengthen her faith. God allowed her to be a missionary and witness to the very tribe that killed her husband and four other missionary men. Here are some quotes from her writings that I especially love:

“We have ample evidence that the Lord is able to guide. The promises cover every imaginable situation. All we need to do is to take the hand he stretches out.”

“Faith is not an instinct. It certainly is not a feeling – feelings don’t help much when you’re in the lions’ den or hanging on a wooden Cross. 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” (Secure in the Everlasting Arms, Revell, 2002).

“Faith does not eliminate questions. But faith knows where to take them” (A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael).

“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. 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. There is always time to do the will of God. If we are too busy to do that, we are too busy” (Secure in the Everlasting Arms).

“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.”

“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.”

“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” (Passion and Purity: Learning to Bring Your Love Life Under Christ’s Control).

“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.”

“God never witholds 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.”

“Discipline, for the Christian, begins with the body. We have only one. It is this body that is the primary material given to us for sacrifice. We cannot give our hearts to God and keep our bodies for ourselves.”

“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. 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” (Keeping a Quiet Heart).

“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.”

“Work is a blessing. God has so arranged the world that work is necessary, and He gives us hands and strength to do it. The enjoyment of leisure would be nothing if we had only leisure. It is the joy of work well done that enables us to enjoy rest, just as it is the experiences of hunger and thirst that make food and drink such pleasures” (Discipline: The Glad Surrender).

“Worry is the antithesis of trust. You simply cannot do both. They are mutually exclusive.”

“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. For I have accepted God’s idea of me, and my whole life is an offering back to Him of all that I am and all that He wants me to be.”

For more on the life of Elisabeth Elliot, visit her website (www.elisabethelliot.org) and Wikipedia.

3 responses to “Learning from Elisabeth Elliot

  1. Elisabeth Elliot is one of my favorites too!! Now I have the urge to pull out some of her books that I haven’t read in awhile … thanks for posting =)

  2. I love Elisabeth Elliott! Her life and example has always inspired me. She and I actually were born in the same town of Germantown, a small section of Philadelphia! Her husband, Jim Elliot, was martyred in 1956, the same year I was born. What impacted me the most was that she did not return home from Ecuador when her husband was killed; but rather, stayed to minister for a time to the Auca tribe! What a strong, godly woman! I’ve read most of her books….she’s one of my favorite authors! Have you read The Shaping of a Christian Family? It’s a MUST read, especially to a young couple just beginning their family! All three of our sons have read The Shadow of the Almighty….in fact, I believe Kevin gave that book as groomsmen gifts when he and Melissa were married! My favorite Elisabeth Elliott quote….JUST DO THE NEXT RIGHT THING!

  3. Kathy McKinnon

    Reading her quotes was a blessing to me today. Thanks.

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