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Dictionary of Bible Themes – 5916 pessimism
5916 pessimism

5916 pessimism

A negative and hopeless attitude, resulting either from viewing the world as being without God or from loss of faith in God.

The world may appear to be meaningless

Ecc 1:14 See also Ecc 1:1-11

Wisdom may be pointless

Ecc 1:17-18 See also Ecc 2:12-16

Pleasures may be empty

Ecc 2:1

Work may be in vain

Ecc 2:17 See also Ecc 2:18-23; Ecc 4:4

The world may seem corrupt and oppressive

Ecc 4:1 See also Ecc 4:2-3; Ecc 5:8-9

Loneliness can be depressing

Ecc 4:8

Wealth is no answer

Ecc 5:10 See also Ecc 5:11-15; Ecc 6:1-6; Lk 12:18-20

Life is short and often miserable

Ecc 6:12 In the OT, before the resurrection hope was fully developed, this life seemed to be all that there was. See also 1Ch 29:15; Job 7:6; Job 14:7-12,18-22; Job 17:13-16

Suffering may lead to pessimism

Job 6:11 See also Job 30:26; La 3:16-18; Eze 37:11

Suffering may cause a sense of God’s rejection

Job 14:18-19 See also Job 19:5-13

The godless have no grounds for optimism

Eph 2:12 See also Job 8:13-15; Pr 10:24; Pr 11:7; Pr 24:19-20; Isa 19:3; Jer 4:9; Mt 7:26-27; 1Th 4:13

Examples of pessimism

The Israelites on hearing about the strength of the Canaanites Nu 13:31-33; Dt 1:28

Israel’s enemies Dt 2:25; Jos 2:9

Naomi on her return to Israel Ru 1:21

The Israelites threatened by the Philistines 1Sa 17:11; 1Sa 13:6-7

Elijah at Mount Horeb 1Ki 19:9-10

The men with leprosy at the gate of Samaria 2Ki 7:4

Judah facing the threat from Aram and Israel Isa 7:2

The Philistine cities on seeing Tyre’s destruction Zec 9:5

Thomas after the resurrection Jn 20:24-25

Paul’s shipboard companions during the storm Ac 27:20

The antidote to pessimism is faith in God

Ps 42:5; 2Co 4:13-16 See also Isa 41:10; La 3:21-24; 2Co 4:7-9

See also

5067suicide
5569hardship
5799bitterness
5831depression
5835disappointment
5901loneliness
5914optimism
8027faith, testing of
8713discouragement
8754fear
8834unbelief
9614hope, results of absence

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