2 Timothy 3:12-17 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Job 1:1 In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.
Genesis 6:9 This is the account of Noah, Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.
Note: Job 1:1, and Genesis 6:9, both give us a definition of the word righteous or upright, as a man (or woman) who fears (respects) God, and shuns (turns away from) evil.
Read Acts 6:1-15, Acts 7:51-60 (Note that during Acts 7 Stephen recounts the old testament relationship of the jews to God up until Acts 7: 51 where Stephen berates them on God’s behalf for being stiff-necked, At this point the members of the Sanhedrin get pretty upset and attack Stephen, even though this was the Holy Spirit speaking through Stephen. In Stephen’s speech he reminds the jews how powerful and great God is and that God created everything, and has worked on the relationship with the jews all along, but that they have let him down repeatedly. Stephen was strengthened and uplifted to show God’s glory and endure persecution with the grace of God evident to all who witnessed his persecution and death. This is a great example of God strengthening someone through a great personal trial, and harsh experience.
There are many people still being persecuted in this world for their Christianity, on one level or another….even some unto their death. There is a group called Open Doors if you have further interest in finding out more about this issue.