Yes and no. God gave us a free will to make decisions. We mature as we reap the consequences. For example, “He who keeps watch over his mouth and his tongue keeps his soul from troubles,” Proverbs 21:23. If we say whatever we want, we could stir up trouble. God wants us to learn to exercise judgment and to be careful with our words.
We need to review our experiences. Are they the result of some bad behavior on our part? It is not just fate. All of us will make mistakes. But if we have fully committed our lives to Him, then we know He can help us recover. We are assured, “all things work together for good.” (Romans 8:28) The “good” spoken of is what is best for our spiritual lives. Sometimes the good comes from learning from our mistakes.
Consider the story of Israel recorded in Numbers chapters 13 and 14. God had miraculously delivered them from Egypt, provided quail, water and daily manna. He gave them the law at Mt. Sinai and led them to the border of the Promised Land. Twelve spies were sent to scout out the land. Israel could have exercised faith in God’s power and taken possession of the land when the spies returned. Instead, they let unbelief and fear take hold. They chose not to follow God’s direction. God punished them by assigning them to wander 40 years in the wilderness. God allowed them to make a mistake. They learned lessons of faith through hard experiences.
Sometimes we have difficult experiences which are not the result of our decisions. Then God is developing our characters and testing our faith. (He is not punishing us.) For example, our company moves overseas and we lose our job. Or a drunk driver hits our car and we break our legs. Such things we have no control over. So, we need to have the viewpoint of faith. Yes, God did allow it. It’s for us to accept and learn submission and sympathy.
In all things, we want the proper view of God as stated in Exodus 34:6,7 “The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.”