A paraphrase of Habakkuk’s message would go pretty much like this:
Though it looks like all is lost and you do not understand why God has not responded, keep on serving and seeking and waiting. Though all you see is violence, strife, and destruction do not lose heart. God is doing something you do not understand and would not believe.
Write the vision clearly, so that those who are meant to read it may do so quickly. It will come to pass at the proper time. It will not be late.
Do not be dismayed at the destruction and lack, but rather, exult in the Lord and be satisfied in Him alone. Rejoice and be glad by faith in the sure coming salvation. He is our strength and our ability to stand and wait.
In other words; even if you don’t understand what is happening, and you don’t see God working, do not be dismayed, but continue walking in faith.
The just shall live by faith.
To paraphrase C.S. Lewis’ character Wormwood in Screwtape Letters: (spoken from the devil’s perspective)
“Sooner or later, He [God] withdraws, if not in fact, at least from their conscious experience, all supports and incentives. He leaves the creature [that is you, the Christian], to stand up on its own legs – to carry out from the will alone (those) duties which have lost all relish… He cannot “tempt” to virtue as we do to vice. He wants them to learn to walk and must therefore take away His hand; if only…”Oh, I love this, and if only the will to walk is really there He is pleased even with their stumbles. Our cause is never more in danger than when a [Christian], no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy’s [God] will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken and still obeys>.”
Teaching about God’s love is vital to understanding His nature and treatment of man, and teaching about faith is vital in understanding His methods and how He displays His love. He has chosen to interact with man in love by faith. His love speaks to His nature and motive. His requirement of faith speaks to His ways and methods. We are better in understanding His motives than we are of understanding His methods. That is why He appears dark and mysterious. When we don’t understand His methods, it challenges our understanding of His motive – love.