Americans Dying Younger

A recent report from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that “life expectancy” for the average American is shrinking—and has been since 2014.

The last time life expectancy dropped for several years in a row was during World War I, when America was suffering a deadly “Spanish flu” epidemic in addition to losing thousands of young men on the Western front.

Why is this happening now? CDC Director Robert Redfield explained: “Tragically, this troubling trend is largely driven by deaths from drug overdose and suicide. These sobering statistics are a wake-up call that we are losing too many Americans, too early and too often, to conditions that are preventable.”

On average, 123 Americans commit “suicide” every day, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. And for every person who commits suicide, 25 more “attempt it.”

Last year, the suicide rate hit a 50-year high. Since 2016, suicide has been the second-leading “cause of death” for Americans between the ages of 10 and 34.

In addition to suicide, “drug overdose” are soaring. The CDC reported that in 2017, overdose deaths increased 9.6 percent. Since 1999, overdose rates have skyrocketed 255 percent. In 2017, an average of 200 people “died” from drug overdoses every day.

More people are dying from drug overdoses than from “car crashes or gun violence.” These deaths, along with “alcohol” related deaths, have been dubbed “deaths of despair” by researchers.

Americans age 25 to 34 experienced the largest “increase” in death rates overall, and the increases affected men more than women. These awful statistics are “catching attention and causing concern” across the country.

Investor’s Business Daily wrote, “Why are so many young Americans, mostly male and in the prime of their lives, engaging in such self-destructive behavior?”

The fact is, thousands of young Americans are “killing” themselves with drugs and suicide. Why?

Investor’s Business Daily quoted one expert as saying, “I really do believe that people are increasingly hopeless, and that leads to drug use, it leads potentially to suicide.”

Our “overdose and suicide” rates are hitting us in the face with the fact that our young people are “lethally” hopeless! Why? Look at the world around them! It is collapsing!

You would have to be living under a rock not to notice. Civically, morally, legally, economically, militarily, nationally, internationally: “Human civilization itself is failing.”

After one prominent actor died from a heroin overdose in 2014, the Guardian wrote: “In spite of all the praise and accolades, in spite of all the loving friends and family, there is a predominant voice in the mind of an addict that supersedes all reason, and that voice wants you dead. This voice is the unrelenting echo of an unfulfillable void.”

Think about the miserable death of that actor, which happened in his apartment bathroom as his three children were waiting to see him at a nearby playground.

Think about the 123 Americans who will kill themselves today and the 3,000 others who will try to.

Think about the millions who are miserable, and ask yourself: “What is this void?”

There is indeed a void in human life, and not just among the addicted and the suicidal. Many people experiencing a sense of emptiness, hunger and thirst for that which will satisfy. Their world is filled with many distractions.

This is why people devote themselves to diversions like sports or entertainment, or to illicit sex, or to worthier-yet-still-unfulfilling pursuits like careers, or greatness in business, politics, science and the arts. This is why some turn to drugs. It is why some turn to suicide. They are trying to fill the void. And they can’t do it.

The only thing that will impart to us this sense of satisfaction, completeness, abundance, is God’s spirit, nature and fullness. Yet our carnal mind does not recognize that fact.

Lacking in God’s Word that would fill us to satisfaction, we have a gnawing soul-hunger that leaves us miserable, empty, discontented. We seek to quench our thirst and satisfy his soul-hunger in the interests and pursuits and pleasures of this world.

Satan does exist. He is the original source of sin and evil. And he will do anything to keep human beings from filling that void with God’s Spirit. He inspires human beings, who willingly go along, to try to fill the void with pleasures: “sensual, emotional, intellectual, monetary—anything except the one thing that will actually fill it.”

It’s not just the addicted and the suicidal who have this void. We all do. You do. And the only thing that will fill it is a personal relationship with your Creator.

Only our Creator can help us truly fill that void and give us a life full of hope. “If you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.” Colossians 1:23.

It is the only hope that can give real meaning to our lives. This is the real hope that hopeless people need! They often don’t even have physical substitutes like a successful career, a happy marriage or a loving family. They resort to drugs, alcohol, sexual perversion, leading farther and farther into the blackness of hopelessness and death!

Real hope comes from knowing your Creator, knowing the purpose of your life. Real hope stirs you to action—positive, out flowing, giving action. True hope motivates you to improve and do better: “All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure” 1 John 3:3.

Real hope leads farther and farther into a brighter and brighter existence, a brighter and brighter hope, and a brighter and brighter future! We all need this hope!

“Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:8. The nearer we draw to God, the more hope we will have, the more power we will have to be cleansed of selfish, hopeless, terminal thinking.

This is the only real, lasting hope there is! Even those among us who have achieved success in education, career, marriage and family have found themselves lacking something, living with a void unfilled.

They face the end of their natural lives realizing that they are still simply mortal, temporary beings with no hope of any future beyond that. The greatest individuals in history are in the same situation. Every physical human life is doomed. Only the intervention of the Creator can change that.

If we have this void, it can be filled, if we are willing to turn to the Creator of human life. We can have hope in a hopeless world if we are willing to let God shape us into one of His children.

In the middle of all this hopelessness, addiction and suicide, there is hope! Find it! Prove it! Live it! It will motivate you to real, lasting change. And believe me, that’s only the beginning.

Americans Are Increasingly Dying Earlier In These States
The So-Called “Deaths of Despair”
Top 10 Causes of Death for Americans Ages 15 to 24

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