Elisabeth Elliot quotes to encourage your heart and inspire you to live well!
Although she has gone on to be with the Lord, Elisabeth Elliot’s influence lives on through her books and recorded teachings.
Her frank, no-nonsense approach is refreshing and much needed in our time when boldly standing for Christ is more and more uncommon.
Elisabeth wrote not only on topics related to family and motherhood but also suffering and how to live a self-disciplined Christian life.
Affiliate links included below, which means I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Read my disclosure here.
My First Encounter with Elisabeth Elliot
I first discovered Elisabeth’s books at a bookstore over twenty years ago, when I was dating my (now) husband.
We used to go to the bookstore occasionally on date nights after having dinner together. One night, I was perusing the Christian books section, when I came across Elisabeth’s books, Let Me Be a Woman and Passion and Purity.
Those two books had such a profound impact on me.
Around the same time, I discovered that she had a radio show, and I started listening to that. I also subscribed to her old fashioned newsletter, which I would look forward to reading each month.
I’ve previously shared about how Elisabeth Elliot’s life and writings have been such an inspiration to me, especially in the area of motherhood.
Her example of devotion to God and holding fast to biblical truth no matter what have encouraged me so much.
I now have a fairly extensive collection of her books, and I regularly re-read them.
If you’re new to Elisabeth Elliot and wondering where to start with her books, I highly recommend Keep a Quiet Heart.
Today I’m sharing some of my favorite Elisabeth Elliot quotes with the hope they will encourage you as they have blessed and encouraged me.
Elisabeth Elliot Quotes on Motherhood
“If our calling is to be mothers, let’s be mothers with all our hearts—gladly, simply, and humbly.”
“Nothing trains and teaches so powerfully as love. Love attracts. It does not coerce. If the aim of parents is to teach their children to love God they must show their love for Him by loving each other and loving the children.”
“The process of shaping the child, shapes also the mother herself. Reverence for her sacred burden calls her to all that is pure and good, that she may teach primarily by her own humble, daily example.”
“I believe that trust in God, love for one’s children, and prayer for wisdom are a recipe for successful parenthood far more reliable than all the books and seminars in the world.”
“The routines of housework and of mothering may be seen as a kind of death, and it is appropriate that they should be, for they offer the chance, day after day, to lay down one’s life for others. Then they are no longer routines. By being done with love and offered up to God with praise, they are thereby hallowed as the vessels of the tabernacle were hallowed—not because they were different from other vessels in quality or function, but because they were offered to God. A mother’s part in sustaining the life of her children and making it pleasant and comfortable is no triviality. It calls for self-sacrifice and humility, but it is the route, as was the humiliation of Jesus, to glory.”
Read Elisabeth’s book, The Shaping of a Christian Family
Elisabeth Elliot Quotes on Homemaking
“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. The beauty of thy peace shines forth in an ordered life. A disordered life speaks loudly of disorder in the soul.”
“Ordinary work, which is what most of us do most of the time, is ordained by God every bit as much as is the extraordinary. All work done for God is spiritual work and therefore not merely a duty but a holy privilege.”
“Work is a blessing. God has so arranged the world that work is necessary, and He gives us hands and strength to do it. There would be not enjoyment of leisure—if we had only leisure. It is the joy of work well done—which enables us to enjoy rest; just as it is the experiences of hunger and thirst, which make food and drink such pleasures.”
“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.”
Elisabeth Elliot Quotes on Doing the Next Thing
“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.”
“When you don’t know what to do next, just do the thing in front of you.”
“Just be obedient. Do today, faithfully, all that the Lord gives you to do. Then, the strength will be given for what’s coming. There is no need to go to pieces. Obey. Today.”
“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.”
“We are paralyzed. Fear grips us tightly; grief disables us entirely. We have no heart. At such a time I have been wonderfully calmed and strengthened by doing some simple duty. Nothing valiant or meritorious or spiritual at all—just something that needed to be done, like a bed to be freshly made or a kitchen floor to be scrubbed, one of those things that will never be noticed if you do it but will most certainly be noticed if you don’t! Sometimes it takes everything you have to tackle the job, but it is surprising how strength comes.”
Read Elisabeth’s book, Suffering is Never for Nothing
Elisabeth Elliot Quotes on Spiritual Discipline
“Holiness has never been the driving force of the majority. It is, however, mandatory for anyone who wants to enter the kingdom.”
“The world looks for happiness through self-assertion. The Christian knows that joy is found in self-abandonment. ‘If a man will let himself be lost for My sake,’ Jesus said, ‘he will find his true self.’”
“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.”
“If your goal is purity of heart, be prepared to be thought very odd.”
“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.”
“Faithfulness today is the best preparation for the demands of tomorrow.”
“The world still needs to be shown that there are those who, no matter what the circumstances, will, for love of Him, do exactly what God commands.”
Read Elisabeth’s book, Discipline: The Glad Surrender
Elisabeth Elliot Quotes on Peace During Trials
“A quiet heart is content with what God gives. It is enough. All is grace.”
“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.”
“Fear arises when we imagine that everything depends on us.”
“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.”
“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.”
“When our plans are interrupted, his are not. His plans are proceeding exactly as scheduled. They include our minutes or hours or years which seem most useless or wasted or unendurable.”
“We have the assurance—a calming and quieting one—that God in His infinite wisdom has placed us where we are.”
“I’m convinced that there is nothing that can happen to me in this life—which is not precisely designed by a sovereign Lord to give me the opportunity to learn to know Him.”
“I will offer to Him both my tears and my exultation. Nothing I offer to Him will be lost.”
“I really believe that God can give His peace no matter what the situation…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.”
Elisabeth Elliot Quotes on Joy
“Joy is not dependent on circumstances.”
“Everything, if given to God, can become your gateway to joy.”
“The will of God is always joy.”
“Worship and joy go together. The more we learn to worship, the more joy we will experience.”
“Nothing is more conducive to joy than forgetting all about ourselves and delighting in the Lord.”
“God wants us to be joyful, and when we align ourselves with His will, we do find joy.”
“Teach me never to let the joy of what has been, pale the joy of what is.”
“Joy springs from an utter surrender of all that we have and do and suffer.”
“Love and obedience are the secrets of true joy.”
Faith and Contentment
“Don’t dig up in doubt what you planted in faith.”
“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.”
“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.”
“God has promised to supply all our needs. What we don’t have now, we don’t need now.”
“Faith does not eliminate questions. But faith knows where to take them.”
“The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances.”
“Things happen which would not happen without prayer. Let us not forget that.”
“Does our faith rest on having prayers answered as we think they should be answered, or does it rest on that mighty love that went down into death for us?”
“Today is mine. Tomorrow is none of my business. If I peer anxiously into the fog of the future, I will strain my spiritual eyes so that I will not see clearly what is required of me now.”
“Faith has to be exercised in the midst of ordinary, down-to-earth living.”
“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.”
Read Elisabeth’s book, Keep a Quiet Heart
On God’s Sovereignty
“We’re not adrift in chaos. We’re held in the everlasting arms.”
“If you believe in a God who controls the big things, you have to believe in a God who controls the little things.”
“It is today for which are responsible. God still owns tomorrow.”
“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.”
“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.”
“Leave it all in the Hands that were wounded for you.”
“God never denies us our heart’s desire, except to give us something better.”
“We have to bow our heads in the face of mystery and acknowledge that yes, God is sovereign. He is in charge.”
“The mystery of God’s sovereignty is that his everlasting love is being worked out in ALL the happenings of history—for His glory and for our joy.”
Purpose and Meaning
“You can never lose what you have offered to Christ.”
“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.”
“There is nothing worth living for, unless it is worth dying for.”
“It is God to whom and with whom we travel, and while He is at the end of our journey, He is also at every stopping place.”
“Be patient. Is God not fast enough? Are His answers too tough? A quick sympathy from a friend may suggest that you simply drop out, be good to yourself, get away from it all. Someone else will be sure to say, “You need counsel.” Are you sure? One hour at the foot of the Cross may obviate the necessity of professional counseling (no such thing existed until the twentieth century—what did folks do before then?)”
“By trying to grab fulfillment everywhere, we find it nowhere.”
“In a changing world, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.”
Elisabeth Elliot on Womanhood
“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.”
“To me, a lady is not frilly, flouncy, flippant, frivolous, and fluff-brained, but she is gentle, she is gracious, she is godly, and she is giving. You and I have the gift of femininity. The more womanly we are, the more manly men will be, and the more God is glorified. Be women, be only women, be real women in obedience to God.”
“What sort of world might it have been if Eve had refused the Serpent’s offer and had said to him instead, ‘Let me not be like God. Let me be what I was made to be—let me be a woman?’”
“We are women, and my plea is, let me be a woman—holy through and through, asking for nothing but what God wants to give me, receiving with both hands and with all my heart whatever that is.”
“God came down and lived in this same world as a man. He showed us how to live in this world, subject to its vicissitudes and necessities, that we might be changed—not into an angel or a storybook princess, not wafted into another world, but changed into saints in this world. The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances.”
Read Elisabeth’s book, Let Me Be a Woman