But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. (Hebrews 11:16)
I want very much for God to say to me what he said about Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: “I am not ashamed to be called your God.”
As risky as it sounds, does this not really mean that God might actually be “proud” to be called my God? Fortunately this wonderful possibility is surrounded (in Hebrews 11:16) by reasons: one before and one after.
Take the one after, first: “God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.”
The first reason he gives why he is not ashamed to be called their God is that he has done something for them. He made them a city — the heavenly city “whose designer and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10). So, the first reason he is not ashamed to be called their God is that he has worked for them. Not the other way around.
Now, consider the reason he gives in the front. It goes like this: “They desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God.”
“Therefore” signals that a reason has just been given for why God is not ashamed to be called our God. The reason is their desire. They desire a better country — that is, a better country than the earthly one they live in; namely, a heavenly one where God is.
When we desire this heavenly city — this dwelling place of God — more than we desire all that this world can give, God is not ashamed to be called our God. When we make much of all that he promises to be for us, he is proud to be our God. This is good news.
So, open your eyes to the better country, the city of God that he has prepared for us, and let yourself desire it with all your heart. God will not be ashamed to be called your God.