These are questions that have been asked many times. And unfortunately, we can not answer it in a way that would satisfy the masses.
This life we live is not permanent. It is temporary. This life is a test. We are not meant to live forever here anymore. Unfortunately, the only way to go to the eternal life is by death. We can not enter into God's presence in our flesh because it is corrupted by our sinful nature. Our flesh has to be shed. Sometimes moving on to the next life will be painful. The pain is caused by our own sinful desires and actions. But if we have accepted that a sacrifice has been made for us then we only have to suffer a little while. Our 70-75 years of existence is short compared to eternity.
Tragedies happen such as an earthquake like the one in China that killed nearly 70,000 people. We all have often wondered sometimes why things like this happen. Where was God while this tragedy happened? Did He cause the destruction? God was not in the earthquake or the destruction. God is in the healing. When something like this happens, look for the healing.
We don't see the logic in letting these things happen. We question God in times like these. We shouldn't question His existence but we do wonder why He lets things happen. And that is okay. As long as we don't come up with all the answers ourselves. We need to trust in God and lean on Him during these times.
This will not soothe any anxieties but when these things happen people tend to pull together. They tend to love each other more. They tend to hold on to each other more closely. When 9-11 happened, our country was pulled together. We hurt but we felt each other's pain. It's not the stupidity of God that causes problems in the world, it's the stupidity of man. For some reason after a tragedy is over we tend to go back to hating each other. Sometimes even before it's over.
The question about suffering is a good question. All people struggle with this, including Christians. Even our faith struggles with this. Science can't help explain Him. There is no proof, so to speak, in getting anyone to understand Him.
Suffering isn't useless. No one can stand to suffer. We get angry with God many times for things we feel He could get us out of. But it comes down to the fact that we need to learn to understand how fragile life is. That we could be here one minute and not the next. It should make us appreciate that those around us are important and that we need to be the best we can be. We need to be an example for those around us. We need to be strong because if they have suffering in their lives then we can go to them and try and comfort them, for God has given us the experience, but even better the perseverance to get through those times.
A great marriage isn't about how you get along with your mate everyday but how you get along with them in times of trouble. Many marriages break up in times of trouble but a great marriage can withstand the test of time. Suffering makes us feel horrible but maybe there is a purpose in it. Yes, 70,000 people have been killed by nature, but maybe, just maybe 70,000 other lives can be touched and changed because they will now hold on to life more preciously.
Death is not the end. It is only the beginning.