Faith is a gift from God.
Ephesians 2:8-9 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Matthew 5:11-12 (NASB) "Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. "Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
As for following Jesus:
Luke 14:26-27 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
26 “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. 27 Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
It is important that we not start with the glorious gift of salvation given to us then try to complete it with our own good “deeds”. That is often called “works righteousness”. After all, there are MANY worldly folk who have zero interest in God or religion who do a tremendous amount of good deeds. If good deeds got us salvation or kept our salvation, would they not be the first saved?
Good deeds are not what we are looking for. We are looking for the fruit of the Spirit which is seen here
Galatians 5:22-23 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
The fruit of the Spirit comes as a result of God’s true work of salvation in a soul.