Yet, because God's operative power in bringing things about is rarely obvious (nor is it necessarily direct), it is typical for many who profess to believe that “God is sovereign” and “in control” to deny (whether explicitly or implicitly) that his operative power is truly universal and all-pervasive. However, the popular doctrine of human (and angelic) “free will” cannot be consistently affirmed without denying the truth of Ephesians 1:11. If what Paul says is true, there is simply no such thing as absolute “chance” or “coincidence” in the universe (which, as I've argued in another article, the doctrine of “free will” ultimately affirms; see http://thathappyexpectation.blogspot.com/2014/07/a-critical-look-at-christian-doctrine.html). “Randomness” and “chance” are only relative – i.e., they exist only from the perspective of the creature (who is limited in knowledge), rather than the Creator (whose knowledge has no limits, embracing everything that exists and takes place). If what Paul says is true, then everything that occurs must ultimately be attributed to the divine influence. It is ultimately irrelevant whether we like this fact - or are able to “wrap our minds around” it – or not.
In other words, the authority that God gave Christ when he made him “Lord of all” after rousing him from among the dead means that nothing in the universe can take place, or is taking place, apart from Christ's declaration that it be so; it is all “through him.” But the fact that Christ's will is in perfect harmony with that of his Father's means that what God is operating in accord with the counsel of his will (which, as we've seen, is “all” or everything) is exactly what Christ is declaring should be. Thus, when the time comes for Christ to subject all to himself so that God may be “all in all” (1 Cor. 15:24-28), we know that the “operation” which will enable Christ to accomplish this (Phil. 3:21) will be the same divine “operation” to which Paul refers in Eph. 1:11.As Christ himself declared in John 5:30, “I can not do anything of Myself,” and “I am not seeking My will, but the will of Him Who sends Me.”
Daniel understood the truth of God's absolute sovereignty over the entirety of man's life (including everything he does) as well, for we read that he told King Belshazzar, “But the God in whose hand are your life-breath and your ways, you have not glorified” (Dan. 5:23). Not only the life and breath but the very “ways” of this pagan, ungodly king were in the hand of God! Consider also Psalm 139:16, where David used the imagery of a book to demonstrate that the details of our lives have been ordained by God and embraced by his sovereign plan: "In your book were written all the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.” There are innumerable variables that go into making the substance of each and every one of our days. The only way this verse could be true is if God has absolute control over all of these variables, and is thus in sovereign command of all the contingencies and future choices that will happen in regard to our lives.
Again, sin essentially consists in a violation of God's precepts (all of which are summed up in the precepts to love him supremely and to love one's associate as oneself). A failure to love God supremely and to love one's associate as oneself doesn't cease to be sin/lawlessness just because God is the ultimate explanation for why one is failing to do so. Thus, contrary to the view of many who oppose the Biblical position that all is according to God's plan, sin is sin regardless of whether it is a part of God's plan for a being to sin, or not. Sin (the violation of God's precepts) doesn't cease to be sin merely because the sinner is acting in accord with the plan of God (http://thathappyexpectation.blogspot.com/2015/03/sin-is-still-sin-and-god-is-still-good.html).
The “wild beast” here is obviously an evil person (he's the coming “man of lawlessness” referred to by Paul in 2 Thess. 2:3). And the ten horns are ten evil kings who are said to "make war on the Lamb." So at this future time it will be God's “providential will” (his plan/intention) to cause these kings to align themselves with the wild beast and to destroy a city and its inhabitants (which the “prostitute” or represents). Notice we're also told that their destroying the city will accomplish the words of God. As noted earlier, this means that God's prophecies are not mere predictions which God knows will happen, but rather are divine intentions to make sure certain events come to pass.
For Paul, God's grace was not something that merely “invited” or attempted to “persuade” people to act a certain way, or to follow a certain path. Rather, Paul considered God's grace as being an irresistible force or power that overwhelms us (1 Tim. 1:14). It was God's grace - not he himself – that Paul understood as being the explanation for why he'd become an apostle, as well as the reason for his toiling “more exceedingly” than the other apostles (1 Cor. 15:8-10). In other words, Paul attributed his initial obedience to the “heavenly vision” through which he was made an apostle (as well as his continued obedience and effort) to God's grace, rather than to himself.
As with (I believe) every occurrence of evil, the evil that God purposed to take place in this passage of scripture was a means to a greater good. As we read in Isaiah 53:10, it was "the will (or desire) of Yahweh to crush" his Son, and it was God who caused him to be wounded (in the LXX, the Greek word translated "will" or "desire" in this verse is boulomai, which means "to will deliberately"). But this great evil that was in accord with God's purpose and intention - and which necessarily involved the sinful actions of human (as well as celestial) beings - was all for a greater good (as the verses in Isaiah 53 that follow make clear).
Whether or not a person suffers for doing good rather than for doing evil is not up to them; it's up to the "will of God" - i.e., God's purpose and intention, which embraces all the circumstances of life. It is this "will" that Peter has in view here. In any given situation, whether a righteous person suffers for doing good or not is completely up to God, and (unlike God's commands/injunctions) is not something that can be thwarted or resisted.
Evidently, Joseph - like Paul - believed that God was operating all in accord with the counsel of his will, and that this included both the good and the evil that takes place. For Joseph later told his brothers, "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today." Thus, we see that God's benevolent purpose involved the occurrence of hatred and deceit, jealousy, selfishness, kidnapping (etc.) - all of which are contrary to God's revealed "preceptive will" for human beings. This, then, is yet another example of how God's purpose to bless his creatures can and does involve the sinful intentions and actions of his creatures. There is nothing inconsistent about the purpose of a good and loving God involving sin and evil.