Being Thankful and Living in the Present

March 31, 2021
By: Daniel Fusco

We all know people who spend so much time trying to stare into the future they end up missing the present…Maybe you are one of those people. I definitely catch myself fixating on future plans at times…but the problem with that is we start existing, instead of living… Because we’re not “there” yet (the future), and if we’re not living in the present we’re not really “here” either. So what keeps us locked into the present in a way where we can really live, grow, and thrive? 

The key that makes all the difference is thankfulness. 

Now, I know what you’re thinking… “Thankfulness has nothing to do with any of that, Fusco!” Well, I’m so glad you said something because I love a good challenge. But I promise you, this time, my logic isn’t that much of a stretch. 

Thankfulness keeps us living in the now. Why? Because to be thankful, you have to open your eyes, notice the world around you, and acknowledge it. Thankfulness keeps us tethered to our present reality. 

To be thankful, you have to open your eyes, notice the world around you, and acknowledge it.  

And it doesn’t stop there…Thankfulness has two life-transforming implications for our present reality – besides just keeping us living in the here and now. 

Thankfulness Allows Us to Experience Contentment in the Present

When we thank God for his blessing and his redemptive work in our lives, we cultivate a posture of surrender in our own hearts. Thankfulness helps us surrender to exactly what God is doing at the moment, which is just another way of saying thankfulness leads us into contentment. Really, thankfulness and contentment go hand-in-hand because contentment evidences a simple, childlike faith in who God is and what God is doing…When we thank God for what he’s doing in our lives, we train ourselves to trust God and God’s plans for our lives, and then we become content with the details. 

But the Apostle Paul wrote about being content this way: “For I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:11-13). Whether in plenty or in want, Paul had learned how to be content. Why? Because he knew that he could do all things through Christ who strengthened him! This is why Paul lived surrendered. Because he knew and trusted Jesus. He knew that the Lord was in control and had strengthened him by the Spirit. 

And this totally transforms how we live in the present! No longer do we need to daydream about the future…because we’ve learned to thank God and satisfy ourselves with the work He’s doing right now. 

And that brings us to the second life-transforming quality of thankfulness:

Thankfulness Helps Us Trust God with What’s to Come

Why? Because thankfulness is a discipline that allows us to take stock of how faithful God is being to us in our present reality. And when we live in light of God’s faithfulness, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we can trust him with our futures too. 

So ask yourself, are you cultivating a heart posture of thankfulness each and every day? If not, start right now in your present reality…I promise you, you’re going to find yourself satisfied in ways you never dreamed of…so you don’t have to spend your days dreaming about what’s to come anymore. 


Daniel Fusco

Daniel Fusco is a pastor, coach, and encourager with a unique ability to connect with people from all walks of life and talk with them about Jesus and spirituality. He is the lead pastor of Crossroads Community Church in Vancouver, Washington, a ministry that reaches people across the globe with the message that Jesus is real. He inspires people to live out their faith by simply responding to Jesus. Daniel is the author of Upward, Inward, OutwardHonestly; and Crazy Happy (releasing February 2021). His radio program Jesus is Real Radio and TV show Real with Daniel Fusco can be found on stations across the U.S., including the Hillsong Channel. His popular 2 Minute Message videos and encouraging daily content can be found on Facebook (@danielfusco), Instagram (@thefusco), Youtube (@pastordanielfusco) and Twitter (@danielfusco). He lives in Southwest Washington with his wife Lynn and their three kids.

Related Articles

Attitudes of Gratitude: Stories of Thankfulness in the Bible

Thanksgiving was established as a national holiday in the United States by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. The roots of the holiday can be traced... Read More

Three Strategies for Nurturing Gratitude When Thankfulness Is Hard

The season of Thanksgiving on the calendar doesn’t always coincide with a season of thanksgiving in our lives. If you’re struggling to embrace the true purpose of the holiday—or having difficulty finding things to be thankful for because of the circumstances you’re facing—here are a few ideas to help you. Read More

Christian Thanksgiving Grows on a Trinitarian Trellis

As we reach the final stretch of the most peculiar of years, many are coming to terms with another hard realization. […] Read More

Sign Up for the Latest Blog Posts from Thomas Nelson

By submitting your email address, you understand that you will receive email communications from HarperCollins Christian Publishing (501 Nelson Place, Nashville, TN 37214 USA) providing information about products and services of HCCP and its affiliates. You may unsubscribe from these email communications at any time. If you have any questions, please review our Privacy Policy or email us at

1 reply on “Being Thankful and Living in the Present”

I appreciate God in the life of Pastor Daniel for this encouraging message that inspire me to improve my gratitude life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *