Question 1. I suggest reading the book of Job. I am not a religious person , although I do consider myself a god fearing man. The hard truth is you can’t rationalize this. As Christians and as human beings you may never get an answer nor do you deserve an answer. I had this same discussion with some fellow church goers at my workplace the other day. Sometimes the answer won’t be available but the response to the turbulence is key. I don’t think this is the good medium to discuss this topic. Again this is based on my readings of the Bible.
I agree with DAG that this is probably not the forum, only because invariably the discussions like this sadly, always turn into politics. However, I'll be happy to give my perspective, if you truly are interested and not just baiting Christians, but it would probably be better in a different forum to avoid the garbage that is sure to follow.
Nutshell point though.... Our earthly lives are not the ultimate goal. God has given us free-will and, because of original sin that soiled the Paradise God created, with free-will now comes consequences. It's not the goal of man to "make the most of this life". It's our goal to please Him.....period. If you please Him, you will receive the ultimate reward. With that said, pleasing Him is actually very easy if you have true faith. Believing in Jesus Christ, trusting Him as your Lord & Saviour is ALL that is necessary. That's it. If you truly do that, then The Holy Spirit will guide you.
That's not to say He expects us to be perfect. Satan saw to that... However, if you are truly a Christian, you will feel convicted of your sins and naturally try to live a more Godly life. Do we always succeed? Of course not. That's the good news of the gospel. We don't have to be perfect because HE was (and is).
Unfortunately, life on Earth is allowed to suffer. Thank Satan for that. And yes, even true Christians suffer (just look at me), but when our faith is tested, how we respond is key.
This is VERY basic info. If you'd honestly like more of my perspective (with more detail) I'm happy to oblige....it IS the Great Commission afterall. But I'll refrain from going further here as I'm not wanting to get the thread locked down.
God bless & War Eagle!
PS. I've given a testimonial in the "Encouragement Spot During the "Corona-tine" thread in All Things Considered to give you a little more perspective of how a Christian handles a scary & sad situation (my stage 4 cancer) & the importance of prayer. I hope it helps in your quest for answers. But it ain't about me... it's about The Lord!!