The Bible is filled with people who followed God's will, only to be put in fiery furnaces, beheaded, stoned, or crucified. Naturally, many white Christians interpret this to mean that if they put their faith in God, they will be rewarded with health and wealth all of their days.
And not just health and a comfortable living, mind you, but anything your heart desires! Ferrari? Beach house? Season six of the Office on DVD? Just "name it and claim it" and God has to give it to you - it's in the Bible... somewhere. Limited numbers of Word-Faith type church members have had sports cars magically appear in their driveways, but it's an entirely different story for the pastors of these churches.
Prosperity theology is quite the deal for charismatic pastors like Joel Osteen and Jim Baker. As long as the congregation believes that a winning lottery ticket is only a bigger tithe away, at least the pastor will be living his best life now.