Psalm 119:17-24 (TPT)
17 Let me, your servant, walk in abundance of life
that I may always live to obey your truth.
18 Open my eyes to see the miracle-wonders hidden in your word.
19 My life on earth is so brief, so tutor me in the ways of your wisdom.
20 I am continually consumed by these irresistible longings,
these cravings to obey your every commandment!
21 Your displeasure rests with those who are arrogant,
who think they know everything;
you rebuke the rebellious who refuse your laws.
22 Don’t let them mock and scorn me for obeying you.
23 For even if the princes and my leaders choose to criticize me,
I will continue to serve you and walk in your plans for my life.
24 Your commandments are my counselors;
your word is my light and delight!
Matthew 5:10 (TPT)
The Hebrew Scriptures (what we call the Old Testament) are the scriptures that Jesus learned under. He also taught out of these scriptures and lived his life to model what it looks like when the scriptures are lived out in the fullest way.
So, in the sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches things that stories from the Hebrew scriptures support. Therefore we can look at stories in the Old Testament that show us what Jesus means when he says that the Persecuted are Blessed.
Toward the end of Genesis, there's a story of a man named Joseph. Joseph is righteous and loved by his father. His brothers throw him in a pit and sell him into slavery. Then, as a slave, he gets thrown in prison for refusing to commit adultery. After being in prison for 2 full years and continuing to be faithful to God, Joseph is raised from the prison and made the Prime Minister of Egypt. Yea... It's crazy. Go read the story.
In the book of Daniel, three men decide to do the right thing and they are put in a furnace to be burned because of it. They did the right thing... regardless of the consequences. In that story, much like the Joseph story, God rescues the three men who are being persecuted for doing the right thing.
Then, at the end of all four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) in the New Testament, Jesus does the right thing by loving the outcast, making friends with and speaking on behalf of the poor, and eating with sinners. Then, he is persecuted and put to death for it.
That's not the end of the story, though. God raises him from the dead to show that God's kingdom cannot be stopped by sin or death.
The truth is that, when we seek God's righteousness above all else and are persecuted because of it, God will meet us in that place and raise us up.