1 Peter 1:20-21
He was foreknown. Before the world began, He is alive, He is existent. Trying to simplify through diagram the passages of verse 20 and 21, I believe that it goes like this: He has appeared in these last times for the sake of the believers in God, so that your faith and hope are in God. Makes me ask, did they have their faith and hope in something or someone else before? He has appeared for you so that your faith and hope are in God. If He didn’t appear, it seems that their faith and hope will not be in God. But, since He appeared, until now we can say that God is real and that our faith and hope are in Him. Which can also be taken further into God’s manifestation of glory even in present times. Manifest doesn’t mean that He appears physically but that He is seen, manifest, through us because of our works in faith in Christ Jesus that other people see, and that we ourselves have seen as we become sensitive to the leading of God through the Holy Spirit and through His filling of us in times that we do our ministry that seems to be impossible to do in our own strength but then God allows us to accomplish with His strength manifested in us.
Now, this is the reason why our faith and hope are in Him. They are in Him because we have seen how He has worked in our lives, in our relationships, our finances, our health, our safety, our achievements. He has “appeared” in us. The more He “appears” in us, the more we have faith and hope in Him. Which leads me to conclude that even if we don’t physically see God, we have faith because of His manifestation in us.
How, then, can He be manifested in us? He does not manifest Himself to people He doesn’t know. It’s like seeing more and more a person’s friend in him if they are always together, or a couple who are almost identical in their mannerisms because they know each other so well and are very intimate. God’s manifestation in us will come as we continue to know Him, to be intimate with Him. If we love Him, we will keep His commandments. This is the beginning. He will reveal more of Himself to us, be made manifest in us, people will see, we will see, and the more we and others see Him in us, according to Peter, we will have more hope and faith in Him. It all begins with being intimate with God.