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Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

In my journaling Bible, I have these scrawled words – written in 2012 - next to Romans 12:11: “this would make a great motto verse”!

But as I read and re-read Romans chapter 12 during the Christmas break, I couldn’t resist the pull of the very next verse: Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer (Romans 12:12). Of all the verses I was reading, this little triad of imperatives - like mutually reinforcing points of a triangle - seemed to sum up what it has means for us members of The Bridge Church family to live the gospel-transformed lives that Paul urges in Romans 12:1.

Being joyful in hope is not the same as being happy in circumstances. Now, who wouldn’t want to be happy in their circumstances, right? But joy in hope is something deeper and better and stronger. It’s experiencing something now of the overwhelming wholeness and sweetness that we will one day perfectly know. Jesus-followers have a hope (a sure expectation) of seeing Jesus in all his glory and being like him in that glory (see Romans 5:2), which is what causes joy to spring up – by the Spirit - from deep within us. But we aren’t passive in this. We are urged by Paul to be joyful in our hope. Meditate on what lies in store and let it transform the now. The circumstantial happinesses of life are just pale reflections of what this joy is and what it will one day blossom into.

And joy in hope is what helps us to be patient (steadfast, trusting God, waiting on him) in affliction. Afflictions are as inevitable for Christians as they are for anyone else, but the believer is constantly pointed and projected past the current hardships by thinking much about his or her future prospects. And so suffering is not made easy but is transformed by grace into something which actually reinforces – not reduces - the joy we have because of our assurance of being with Jesus.

And if these truths don’t make us want to be faithful in prayer, what will!? As my joy grows because I am meditating on my hope, my trials are illuminated by heaven’s light and I feel the breeze of heaven, even in tribulations. And all this makes me want to communicate more constantly, talking to and praising my Saviour. In turn those prayers are heard and used by the Lord to strengthen me, sweeten the hard things and fuel the joy that is rooted in heaven’s hope.

What a trio of encouragements! These will be amongst my resolutions for 2020. I wonder if you’ll join me in them?   

Matt Bownds

Download this verse as a phone wallpaper image here.

Matt Bownds, 09/01/2020
Hello and welcome! If you are a new visitor, please click here to find out what to expect at one of our Sunday services. If you would like any more information, please get in touch with the Church Office


Planning your Visit

New to Church? New to the area?

We are a growing family of Christians, committed to sharing the good news about Jesus, loving one another and loving our community in Pontprennau/Pentwyn, and beyond.

We'd love you to come and visit us for one of our Sunday meetings. Here are some answers to common questions, to help you know what to expect when you visit:


Where & when do you meet?

We meet every Sunday at 10am for our Sunday meeting in Pontprennau Primary School. If you are planning to visit for the first time you are welcome to send us a note to so that we can guarantee you a space and give you a warm welcome.  It helps to get there 15 minutes early to get a parking spot and find your seat in time for the meeting to start. Parking spaces are limited so please park considerately. We meet at:

Pontprennau Primary School

Heol Pontprennau


CF23 8LL


What can I expect on a Sunday?

Our meetings are currently being managed in accordance with COVID-19 safety guidance.  As a result some of the activities listed below are restricted or look slightly different.  However, we can  assure you or a warm welcome and an informal, family feel despite the restrictions that may be in place when you visit.

You will be welcomed at the door, where we can answer any questions you might have and direct you to where you need to go. The service will last about 60 minutes and will 
include Bible reading, prayer and a sermon during which the Bible reading is explained. 

Tea and coffee are served after the service - there is plenty of time to meet new people and ask more questions. Click here for more information.   

What happens to the kids?

We have a programme for Children and Young People during the morning service. Children will leave the main service  when announced by the service leader. 

Creche (up to 3 years). Led by our Crèche team, the youngest in our congregation enjoy a time of Bible stories, singing, craft and play.

Sunday School (reception to Year 6). Our Sunday School team lead the children as they learn about God from the Bible through videos, activities, games, and craft. 

Youth (years 7-13). Our young people stay in the service and meet afterwards to discuss and apply the sermon together with one of the youth leaders.

For more information, click here.

Is there a dress code?

No! Please just be yourself and come dressed in your 'normal' clothes. 

Will I have to join in?

Not at all! You are very welcome to simply observe or participate as much as feels comfortable for you.   

I have more questions, how can I ask them?

Please feel free to contact us, or speak to one of the leaders or welcome team on a Sunday morning.