Sermon Illustrations

Victor Hugo, who is famous for his novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame, also so wrote a story called “Ninety-Three.” It tells of a ship caught in a dangerous storm on the high seas. At the height of the storm, the frightened sailors heard a terrible crashing noise below the deck. They knew at once that this new noise came from a cannon, a part of the ship’s cargo, which had broken loose. It was moving back and forth with the swaying of the ship, crashing into the side of the ship with terrible impact. Knowing that it could cause the ship to sink, two brave sailors volunteered to make the dangerous attempt to retie the loose cannon. They knew the danger of a shipwreck from the cannon was greater than the fury of the storm.

That is like human life. Storms of life may blow about us, but it is not these exterior storms that pose the greatest danger. It is the terrible corruption that can exist within us which can overwhelm us. The furious storm outside may be overwhelming but what is going on inside can pose the greater threat to our lives. Our only hope lies in conquering that wild enemy. (

We cannot cure the storm that rages within us. It takes the power of God’s love, as revealed in Christ Jesus. It is only as the character of Christ is formed within that we have any hope of stilling the raging tempest that can harm our souls and shipwreck our lives.