This is something that confounded me for many years...why we're we given free will? I do not know about you but it's been a pain for me. Most of the bad things that have happened in my life have been of my own free will. I have made the choice against the feelings in my heart, on more than one occasion if I ignored my heart then a messenger was sent. It could have been a friend, a client or even someone off the street. Experience has now taught me to recognise the message and the messengers. You'll know a messenger because they will offer advise completely out of the context of your conversation and when you think back on the moment there's a strange unearthly feel to the message. On each occasion I chose to ignore the message and the messengers and it I got badly bitten.
And guess who I blamed for my mistake....Yes, you guessed it. God! "Why did you do this to me God?", "Why punish me?" and for my shame even anger and refusing to have anything to do with him. He sent the messengers, I chose to ignore them.
Here's a great and popular illustration...
A man is sailing at sea and his ship sinks out from under him. He prays to God, "help me Lord, come rescue me". A short while later a ship appears on the horizon and finds the man.
"Come let us rescue you", the captain calls out.
"No thanks, I'm waiting for God to come and rescue me", the drowning man calls back.
The captain looks at him like he's mad and sails off.
The Drowning man prays again, "God come rescue me, I'm drowning".
A short while later another ship comes and tries to rescue the drowning man and get the same response. Eventually the man drowns and find himself in front of God.
"Lord why didn't you come to rescue me?" The drowned man asks.
"What do you mean?" says God, "I sent two ships".
Learn to recognise the messengers before you drown. Satan loves that you have free will and he will do all in his power to effect your free will. Distort your vision, obscure you from God. He did with me long before I was born by effecting my future parents and their lives. He did to them with their parents and lives and so the chain goes back in time to the fall of Adam. Everyone that you have had bad experinces with have had their lives distorted and corrupted by Satan. Until you find Jesus, you will still be a pawn in his perverse plan to bring about your destruction.
So after all this despair is free will really such a great gift? Yes it is because some day you will come to Love God with your free will and there's nothing so valuable to God in this world as your Love freely given to him.