Suffering Is Never for Nothing

Suffering Is Never for Nothing

by Elisabeth Elliot


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Hard times come for all in life, with no real explanation. When we walk through suffering, it has the potential to devastate and destroy, or to be the gateway to gratitude and joy.

Elisabeth Elliot was no stranger to suffering. Her first husband, Jim, was murdered by the Waoroni people in Ecuador moments after he arrived in hopes of sharing the gospel. Her second husband was lost to cancer. Yet, it was in her deepest suffering that she learned the deepest lessons about God.

Why doesn’t God do something about suffering? He has, He did, He is, and He will.

Suffering and love are inexplicably linked, as God’s love for His people is evidenced in His sending Jesus to carry our sins, griefs, and sufferings on the cross, sacrificially taking what was not His on Himself so that we would not be required to carry it. He has walked the ultimate path of suffering, and He has won victory on our behalf.

This truth led Elisabeth to say, “Whatever is in the cup that God is offering to me, whether it be pain and sorrow and suffering and grief along with the many more joys, I’m willing to take it because I trust Him.”

Because suffering is never for nothing.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781535914154
Publisher: B&H Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/01/2019
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 60,579
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 3 Months to 18 Years

About the Author

Elisabeth Elliot was born Elisabeth Howard to missionary parents who were serving in Belgium. Upon their return to the United States they settled in Pennsylvania and New Jersey before she began college at Wheaton College. It was there that she discovered her love for biblical Greek, a love that would ultimately lead to her making the New Testament accessible to some of those for whom it had not been previously accessible. Wheaton College is also where she met Jim Elliot, who she later married in Quito, Ecuador, where they were both serving as missionaries.
Jim and Elisabeth had one daughter, Valerie, who was ten months old when her father was killed by some Waorani men who he, along with four other missionaries, had been seeking to develop a relationship for gospel purposes. Elisabeth continued working with the Quichua people of Ecuador when, through a remarkable providence, she met two Waorani women with whom she and Valerie lived for a year. They were the key to Elisabeth and Valerie going to live with the tribe that had killed the five missionaries. They remained there for two years.
Elisabeth and Valerie returned to the Quichua work and remained there until 1963 when she and Valerie returned to the U.S. Subsequent to her return to the United States, her life was one of writing and speaking. It also included, in 1969, a marriage to Addison Leitch, professor at Gordon Conwell Seminary in Massachusetts. He died in 1973. After his death she married Lars Gren, to whom she was married until her death on June 15, 2015 at her home in Magnolia, Massachusetts.
Elisabeth’s influence continues to span generations through her daily radio program on air for many years and now re-airing in many locations, her rigorous conference schedule, including still referenced messages such as those from the Urbana But it is through her books that her reach spread the furthest. With millions of copies of 21 books in print over the years, one cannot begin to fathom the influence this one surrendered life had on the choices, godliness, and overall sanctification of millions.

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Suffering Is Never for Nothing 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
EROrtega 10 months ago
Elliot encourages us to believe and to trust the Lord for His will in our lives—the suffering that is inevitable, especially. She reminds us that if we really believe that somebody loves us, then we trust them. She notes that we are not adrift in chaos in this life and urges us to remember: “He loves us. To me that is the most fortifying, the most stabilizing, the most peace-giving thing that I know anything about in this universe. Every time things have seemingly fallen apart in my life, I have gone back to those things that do not change. Nothing in the universe can ever change those facts. He loves me. I am not at the mercy of chance.” Above all, she reinforces the three conditions to discipleship in Christ: to give up our right to ourselves; to take up our cross; and to follow Him. In 1973, Elisabeth mourned the death of her second husband, Addison Leitch. Before his departure, Elisabeth summoned the strength the Lord provided her after her first husband had been speared to death in Ecuador: “I would awaken in those wee small hours of the night—which Amy Carmichael calls the hours when all life’s molehills become mountains—my mind would be filled with vivid imaginings of the horrible things that were going to happen to my husband between then and death.” She offers the Lord her loneliness. “Lord, here it is. I can’t handle this.” Her consolation is obedience. There is, in fact, no redemptive work done anywhere without suffering and in scripture, the metaphors for suffering involve pruning. The best fruit is borne of pruning, of suffering, of adversity. The purest joy out of deep sorrow. Elisabeth Elliot reminds us of a life tried in the hottest fires where the purest gold emerges. For more on Elisabeth Elliot, read Devotedly, the Personal Letters and Love Story of Jim and Elisabeth Elliot. It is a sweet collection of correspondence between these two devoted followers of Christ and a look into their heart for the nations, their heart for each other, and their heart for the Lord. Read the full review here:
michelemorin 11 months ago
Beginning with lessons drawn from the life of Job, Elisabeth Elliot challenged believers to rejoice in the possibility of presenting our “whys?” to God, and to be ready to receive God’s answer in the form of His presence with us in our misery–the answer we need more than any other we might have sought. Then, taking her cues from her lifelong mentor, Amy Carmichael who said, “In acceptance lieth peace,” Elisabeth shared that leaning into what she knew about the character of God released her from the notion that when we suffer, we are “adrift in chaos.” (44) By doing the next thing, giving up our notions that we deserve a happy ending, and then saying “yes” to God, we are empowered to take the cup of suffering that God offers, in faith that He knows the end of the story. While it seems ironic (or even masochistic) to thank God for suffering, that is exactly the advice Elisabeth offers. We do this, trusting the wisdom of the Giver who knows and attends to what we need; and we give thanks because it honors God. During her second husband’s battle with cancer, God gave Elisabeth a testing ground for putting all her theories into practice, challenging her in regard to their shared suffering to: Recognize it; Accept it; Offer it to God as a sacrifice; Offer yourself with it. Deliverance in Suffering While it makes for a much better story line for someone to be delivered or rescued out of their suffering, the truth is that often God chooses to save His people in or through their trials. The psalmist outlines this miracle: “He who brings thanksgiving as his sacrifice honors me; to him who orders his way aright I will show the salvation of God!” (Psalm 50:23 RSV) Suffering sets the table for salvation. Receiving the gift of suffering is the first step. Offering it back to God is the next step, and it’s an act of total obedience–the highest form of worship. Loneliness, sorrow, loss, or weakness of any kind can be offered back to God like a bouquet of smashed dandelions in the clenched fist of a tiny two year old. “It means everything in the world because love transforms it.” (83) The paradox of suffering linked to glory is a theme that runs through Elisabeth’s writing and teaching because it runs through Scripture. “The wilderness into pasture. Deserts into springs. Perishable into imperishable. Weakness into power. Humiliation into glory. Poverty into riches. Mortality into immortality.” (104) A biblical theology of suffering finds God there in the midst of the pain, always present, always active, as He makes beauty from ashes, because our suffering is never for nothing. Many thanks to B&H Books for providing a copy of this book to facilitate my review, which, of course, is offered freely and with honesty.
aspiritfilledlife 11 months ago
Suffering is never for nothing by Elisabeth Elliot has caused me to really transform my thoughts about suffering. This book is beautifully written and expounds on the thought that suffering is never for nothing, there is always a purpose and a plan for the suffering in our lives. The chapter on gratitude put in perspective for me to give thanks in all things, and to allow thanksgiving to be a pathway for God to show His salvation. This book is one of encouragement and one that I will reference over and over again. We are a society that needs more books like this we need to be reassured that God is still showing himself even through times of suffering. God suffered on the cross and that does not cause us to be immune to suffering either, according to Elisabeth we should accept it, and do the next thing, give thanks, provide the offering of ourselves to Christ and know that transfiguration is going to take place, allowing God to get all the glory. Knowing that Elisabeth suffered in the manner in which she did, and still had faith in God, placing her trust in Him, is incredible, an unshakable faith that all Christians should possess. This book was gifted to be my B&H Publishing but the thoughts expressed are my own.
Amaack 11 months ago
Elisabeth Elliot was no stranger to suffering. What little I know of her life story tells me that she has intimate knowledge of the harder side of life. And yet, she had joy. Her faith didn’t waver. And she clung to God in the hardest moments. This never before published teaching from Elliot focuses on how Elliot was able to navigate the hard moments of life while clinging to her faith. The content in this book was originally delivered by Elliot as six teaching sessions for a conference. Through these sessions (each turned into a chapter), Elliot seeks to untangle a small portion of suffering. Though relatively short, this book takes a deep dive into the idea that God will always use our suffering. Elliot is quick to point out, “suffering is never for nothing.” At the very least it draws us back into closer fellowship with God. And if that is all that comes from it, then suffering is for something. I loved reading this insight into walking the journey of suffering and grief. Occasionally, it felt like something was missing from the narrative. This was acknowledged by the publisher at the beginning of the book though. Because the content is derived from audio recordings, there was an occasional discontent that seems to happen in a regular book. In those moments, I placed myself back in the context of when the content was originally taught and was able to reengage rather quickly. While the topic of suffering and grief is not new for me, I found Suffering is Never for Nothing to be a new take on the subject. It was refreshing to hear from someone who has been through suffering and is “on the other side.” There’s a calm reminder that we will get through the things that cause us pain. It was a gentle admonition to lean on God and not lose sight of who He is in light of the pain. I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This review is my own, honest opinion.
academy252 12 months ago
This book was originally a speaking series Elisabeth did for an audience. That means, that even with the edits, it reads like she is speaking to you. I found that charming! I have heard her voice on radio and podcasts so I could hear her speaking as I read. There were some editorial oddities along the way but the message far outweighs any transcription issues. If I had money to do so, I would buy 1,000 copies of this book and give it to everyone I know who is struggling through something right now. It is a timeless message that everyone who lives will need to hear at some time in their lives. Suffering is part of the human condition. If you are a Christian you will know suffering but, as Elisabeth so eloquently says right up front… “There have been some hard things in my life, of course, as there have been in yours, and I cannot say to you, I know exactly what you’re going through. But I can say that I know the One who knows. And I’ve come to see that it’s through the deepest suffering that God has taught me the deepest lessons.” This is a beautiful book… a book of truth and comfort. It is a book to encourage you as you face hard things. This book is loaded with biblical examples of faith during suffering. She points to the cross as the symbol of suffering for us. She shares stories from her life and from her study time with the Lord. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Worth the time to read it. Take it slow and let it sink in. Read it again.
ADelightfulGlow More than 1 year ago
Isn't the title alone encouraging?! This is a story of suffering and hope. Of lessons learned in the midst of mourning and in circumstances beyond our control. It offers light and finding faith as our tether rope, fixing us to Christ. Elisabeth Elliot walks us through verses she clung to and truths she learned and applied in her life. She shows us what a difference acceptance and gratitude can make in our lives. And more than that, she shows us that God is love, He loves us and we are seen by Him. I received a copy of this book to review and all opinions are 100% my own.
rkfall More than 1 year ago
Relating much with this author in different ways, this book has been beyond words to me, an off the chart work. Like Corrie Ten Boom and Ruth Myers, Elisabeth Elliot shows the power of our God displayed in His creation for His glory. She has taught me, blessed me, and stretched me. The Truth she shared was right on target. She has given some amazing challenges that I kept pausing while reading with a “HUMPH!” I will treasure this book and already have it on my calendar to read it again. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.